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This volume contains a selection from the Proceed- 
ings of the Massachusetts * Historical Society, from 
the Annual Meeting in April, 1867, to the Monthly 
Meeting in March, 1869, inclusive. 

The engraved plate, from which the portrait of Mr. 
Sparks in this volume was struck off, was kindly placed 
at the service of the Society by Mrs. Sparks. Jt was 
engraved by J. Andrews, from an unfinished picture by 
Stuart, and is here published for the first time. 

The engraved portrait of Judge Story, and that of 
President Felton, were furnished by the families of those 
distinguished members. The former was engraved by 
Cheney, from a crayon drawing by W. W. Story, and was 
published in the " Life and Letters of Judge Story," in 
1851. The latter was engraved by J. Wright Smith, 
from a daguerrotype, and was published in 1867, in 
President Felton's work, entitled " Greece, Ancient ttnd 
Modern : Lectures delivered before the Lowell In- 


For the Committee of Publication. 
Boston, June 1, 1869. 



Prefatory Note v 

Officers elected April, 1869 xi 

Resident Members xii 

Honorary and Corresponding Members ...*.... xiv 

Members Deceased xvi 


Report of the Standing Committee . 2 

Report of the Librarian 6 

Report of the Treasurer 8 

Report of the Cabinet-keeper * -. 14 

Agreement between Uncas and the Colony of Connecticut . . 16 

Letter of Hugh Peter to Governor Winthrop *. 19 

List of Officers elected . ..... . 20 


Letter of Hugh Blair Grigsby to Mr. Deane * 23 

Remarks of Mr. Deane on a portrait of Columbus . . i . ■* 32 


Announcement by the President of the Death of Hon. Lucius 

Manlius Sargent, and Resolution adopted by the Society . 34 

Announcement of the Death of Hon. Archibald Alison . . * 34 

Donations from the President 34 

Announcement of the Death of Hon. Elijah Hayward ... 35 

Remarks on the President's intended visit tp Europe ... 36 



Letter from the President 38 




Paper by John Appleton, M.D., on the Alleged Portrait of the 

Rev.' John Wilson, and on other Early Portraits .... 41 

Memoir of Chief-Justice Shaw, by Hon. B. F. Thomas ... 50 


Tribute to Hon. Charles G. Loring, by Hon. John C. Gray . 81 

Letter from the President 83 


Remarks by the Vice-President on the Decease of Ex-Gov- 
ernor John A. Andrew 86 

Extract from a Letter of the President on the Death of Hon. 

Charles G. Loring 88 

Letter from John Adams to Professor John Gorham .... 90 


Paper by Thomas C. Amory, A.M., on the Seals of Massachu- 
setts 94 


Memoir of William Jenks, D.D., by George W. Blagden, D.D. 106 
Announcement of the Death of Hon. James W. Wayne ; of Robert 

Lemon, F.S.A. ; and of Hon. Albert Gorton Greene . . 113 

Letter of John Lathrop, D.D., to Judge Davis 114 


Report on the " Hutchinson Papers " 118 

Announcement of the Death of Colonel Peter Force .... 133 


Announcement of the Death of Charles Burroughs, D.D. . . 135 
Paper by Hon. William Brigham on the Origin of the Name 

of Flint's Pond 137 


Letter from the President 141 




Report of the Standing Committee 146 

Report of the Librarian 151 

List of the Principal Manuscripts belonging to the Society . . 158 

Report of the Treasurer 166 

Report of the Cabinet-keeper 172 

List of Officers elected . 173 

Memoir of Hon. Joseph Story, LL.D., by Hon. George S. 

Hillard . . 176 


Announcement of the Death of Hon. W. C. Rives 207 

Letters of John Adams and General Nathaniel Greene . . . 208 

Memoir of Jared Sparks, LL.D., by George E. Ellis, D.D. . 211 


Announcement of the Death of Governor Levi Lincoln, and 

Resolution adopted by the Society 312 

Letter from the President 313 


Letter of Benjamin Franklin 316 

Letter from the President 317 


Communication from Mr. Deane on Dr. Belknap's List of Manu- 
scripts in the Cabinet, with the list 321 

Memoranda by Samuel Haugh in Danforth's Almanac for 1649 326 

Printed Table appended to Danforth's Almanac 327 

Letter from the President 329 


Letter reported to the Massachusetts House of Representatives 
in 1777 respecting freeing the Negroes, and Remarks of 

Mr. Deane thereon 332 


Address of the President on his return from Europe . . . 337 





Tribute to Dean Milman, by Hon. J. Lothrop Motley . . . 344 

Announcement of the Death of Hon. William R. Staples . . . 346 

Letter from W. H. Whitmore 347 

Remarks of Mr. Folsom on Dr. Green's edition of Deux Ponts's 

Campaigns 349 

Letter of Henry Newman to Secretary Delafaye 350 

Memoir of Cornelius Conway Felton, LL.D., by Hon. George 

S. Hillard 352 


Paper by Ellis Ames, A.M., on the Qualification for Voting in 

the Province Charter 370 

Colonial Papers copied from the Public Archives in London * . 375 

Letters from Charles J. Hoadly and Hugh Blair Grigsby . . 395 
Remarks by the President on the Death of Hon. W. C. Rives 

and Hon. Edward Coles 398 

Communication from Franklin B. Dexter on a Harvard- College 

Monitor's Bill 403 


Announcement by the President of the Death of Dr. Usher 

Parsons and Hon. David L. Swain 409 

Memoir of George Livermore by Charles Deane . .* . . 415 


Remarks by Chandler Robbins, D.D., and the President, 

on the Death of Dr. John Appleton 470 

Announcement by the President of the Death of Miss Frances 

M. Caulkins 473 

Letter of Hon. Nathan Dane to Daniel Webster 475 



Report of the Committee on Memorials of the Antiquities of 

Boston 486 

Letter of General Schuyler to Ezra LTIommedieu 488 






SUcorbmg SStCttiarg. 
CHARLES DEANE, A.M Cambridge. 




HENRY G. DENNY, A.M Boston. 

Utanbhtg €omm\ttu t 





HENRY W. TORREY, A.M. Cambridge. 




Hen. James Savage, LL.D. 

Rev. Joseph B. Felt, LL.D. 

George Ticknor, LL.D. 

Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, LL.D. 

Hon. Charles Francis Adams, LL.D. 

Rev. George E. Ellis, D.D. 

Hon. John C. Gray, LL.D. 

Rev. Nathl. L. Frothingham, D.D. 

Hon. George S. Hillard, LL.D. 

Hon. William Minot, A.M. 

Hon. Peleg W. Chandler, A.M. 

Rev. George W. Blagden, D.D. 

Rev. Lucius R. Paige, D.D. 

Hon. Solomon Lincoln, A.M. 

Rev. Chandler Robbins, D.D. 

Francis Bo wen, A.M. 

John Langdon Sibley, A.M. 

Hon. Richard Frothingham, A.M. 

Hon. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, M.D. 

Henry Wheatland, M.D. 

Hon. David Sears, A.M. 

Charles Deane, A.M. 

Francis Parkman, A.B. 

Ellis Ames, A.M. 

Hon. John II. Clifford, LL.D. 

Hon. William Brigham, A.B. 

lion. Emory Washburn, LL.D. 

Rev. Samuel K. Lothrop, D.D. 

Rev. William Newell, D.D. 

Hon. Lorenzo Sabine, A.M. 

Col. Thomas Aspinwall, A.M. 

Rev. John S. Barry, A.M. 

John A. Lowell, LL.D. 

J. Lothrop Motley, LL.D. 

Hon. Charles H. Warren, A.M. 

Rev. James Walker, D.D. 

Rev. Edmund H. Sears, A.M. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes, M.D. 

Henry W. Longfellow, LL.D. 

Rev. Frederic H. Hedge, D.D. 

Jacob Bigelow, M.D. 

Hon. George T. Davis, A.B. 

Hon. Stephen Salisbury, A.M. 

Henry Austin Whitney, A.M. 

Rev. William S. Bartlet, A.M. 

Josiah G. Holland, M.D. 

Rev. Charles Brooks, A.M. 

Leverett Saltonstall, A.M. 

Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, D.D. 

Samuel F. Haven, A.M. 

Richard H. Dana, Jr., A.M. 

Joseph Palmer, M.D. 

Hon. George Tyler Bigelow, LL.D. 

Hon. Caleb Cushing, LL.D. 

Henry AV. Torrey, A.M. 

Hon. Joel Parker, LL.D. 

Williams Latham, A.B. 

Hon. Charles Hudson, A.M. 



Rev. Robert C. Waterston, A.M. 
Theophilus Parsons, LL.D. 
Thomas C. Amory, A.M. 
Hon. Benjamin F. Thomas, LL.D. 
Samuel A. Green, M.D. 
Hon. James M. Robbins. 
Charles Eliot Norton, A.M. 
Hon. John J. Babson. 
Robert Bennett Forbes, Esq. 
Rev. Edward E. Hale, A.M. 
Rev. Andrew P. Peabody, D.D. 
Hon. Theron Metcalf, LL.D. 
William G. Brooks, Esq. 
Hon. Horace Gray, Jr., A.M. 
Charles Folsom, A.M. 
Amos A. Lawrence, A.M. 
Rev. Edwards A. Park, D.D. 
Charles Sprague, A.M. 
Rev. William A. Stearns, D.D. 
Hon. Francis E. Parker, A.B. 
William H. Whitmore, A.M. 

George B. Emerson, LL.D. 

James Russell Lowell, A.M. 

Rev. Nicholas Hoppin, D.D. 

Nathaniel Thayer, A.M. 

Erastus B. Bigelow, LL.D. 

William C. Endicott, A.B. 

Hon. Eben. Rockwood Hoar, LL.D. 

Hon. Seth Ames, A.M. 

Josiah P. Quincy, A.M. 

Samuel Eliot, LL.D. 

George Bemis, A.M. 

John Foster Kirk, Esq. 

Henry G. Denny, A.M. 

Rev. Thomas Hill, D.D. 

Charles C. Smith, Esq. 

Hon. George S. Hale, A.B. 

Hon. Charles W. Upham, A.M. 

Jeffries Wyman, M.D. 

Robert M. Mason, Esq. 

William S. Appleton, A.M. 




Hon. Gulian C. Verplanck, LL.D. 

M. Cesar Moreau. 

Erastus Smith, Esq. 

Joshua Francis Fisher, A.M. 

T. A. Moerenhout, Esq. 

Rev. Luther Halsey, D.D. 

Rev. Leonard Bacon, D.D. 

George Catlin, Esq. 

John Winthrop, Esq. 

Don Joaquim Jose da Costa de 

Rt. Rev. William B. Stevens, D.D. 
Henry Black, LL.D., C.B. 
Richard Almack, F.S.A. 
John Romeyne Brodhead, A.M. 
Major E. B. Jar vis. 
E. George Squier, Esq. 
Thomas Donaldson, Esq. 
Hon. George Bancroft, LL.D. 

J. Hammond Trumbull, Esq. 

Robert Bigsby, LL.D. 

James Ricker, Jr., Esq. 

Henry Stevens, A.M. 

Cyrus Eaton, A.M. 

Hon. William Willis, A.M. 

Frederick Griffin, Esq. 

John Carter Brown, A.M. 

Rev. William S. Southgate. 

Hon. Samuel G. Arnold, A.M. 

John Gilmary Shea, LL.D. 

James Lenox, Esq. 

Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Oxford, D.D. 

Winthrop Sargent, A.M. 

Earl Stanhope, D.C.L. 

Hon. John R. Bartlett, A.M. 

G. P. Faribault, Esq. 

William Paver, Esq. 



Frangois Pierre Guillaume Guizot, 

Baron Charles Dupin. 
M. Francois A. A. Mignet. 
Count Adolphe de Circourt. 
Hon. Horace Binney, LL.D. 
William Cullen Bryant, LL.D. 
Count Agenor de Gasparin. 
Hon. Millard Fillmore, LL.D. 
George Grote, D.C.L. 
M. Edouard Rene Lefebre Labou- 

Major- General John A. Dix. 
George Peabody, D.C.L. 
Leopold Von Ranke. 
James Anthony Froude, M.A» 
The Very Reverend Arthur Penrhyn 

Stanley, D.D. 
Louis Adolphe Thiers. 

Rev. William B. Sprague, D.D. 
Rev. Samuel Osgood, D.D. 
William Durrant Cooper, F.S.A. 
Edmund B. O'Callaghan, LL.D. 
Buckingham Smith, Esq. 
Benjamin F. French, Esq. 
Francis Lieber, LL.D. 
William H. Trescot, Esq. 
Dr. J. G. Kohl. 

Hon. John P. Kennedy, LL.D. 
Hon. George P. Marsh, LL.D. 

Benjamin R. Winthrop, Esq. 

J. Carson Brevoort, Esq. 

The Ven. Lord Arthur Hervey. 

Horatio Gates Somerby, Esq. 

George H. Moore, LL.D. 

Hon. Hugh Blair Grigsby, LL.D. 

W. Noel Sainsbury, Esq. 

S. Austin Alii bone, LL.D. 

William Winthrop, Esq. 

Henry T. Parker, A.M. 

Rev. Leonard Woods, D.D. 

Benson J. Lossing, Esq. 

Lyman C. Draper, Esq. 

George Washington Greene, A.M. 

Rev. William G. Eliot, D.D. 

Henry B. Dawson, Esq. 

Prof. Goldwin Smith, LL.D. 

John Forster, LL.D. 

George T. Curtis, A.B. 

Evert A. Duyckinck, Esq. 

James Parton, Esq. 

William V. Wells, Esq. 

John Meredith Read, Jr., Esq. 

Joseph Jackson Howard, LL.D. 

Brantz Mayer, Esq. 

John Bruce, F.S.A. 

Rev. Theodore D wight Woolsey, D.D. 

John Winter Jones, F.S.A. 

John Gough Nichols, F.S.A. 

Richard H. Major, F.S.A. 

Rev. Edmund de Pressense. 

Charles J. Stille, LL.D. 

William W. Story, A.M. 


Resident, Honorary, and Corresponding Members who have died since the 
publication of the last volume of Proceedings, November, 1867, or of 
whose death information has been received since that date : — 


Hon. Levi Lincoln, LL.D. 

John Appleton, M.D. 

Honorary and Corresponding. 

M. Henri Ternaux-Compans. 
Rev. Charles Burroughs, D.D. 
Hon. James M. Wayne, LL.D. 
Robert Lemon, F.S.A. 
Hon. Peter Force. 
Hon. Edward Coles. 
Hon. Albert G. Greene. 
Don Manuel Moreno, M.D. 
Rev. John Hutchinson. 

Hon. David L. Swain, LL.D. 
Hon. William C. Rives, LL.D. 
Hon. William R. Staples, A.M. 
Usher Parsons, M.D. 
The Very Rev. Henry Hart Milman, 

Miss Frances Manwaring Caulkins. 
Hon. George Folsom, A.M. 




THE Society held its annual meeting this day, 
Thursday, April 11, 1867, at eleven o'clock, a.m.; 
the President, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the 

After the reading of the Records by the Recording 
Secretary, the President remarked, that the business of 
the monthly meeting would be transacted before that 
of the annual meeting was entered upon. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Depart- 
ment of State of the United States ; the Commonwealth 
of Massachusetts ; the Chicago Historical Society ; the 
Long-Island historical Society; the Mercantile-Library 
Company of Philadelphia ; the ]STew-England Historic- 
Genealogical Society ; the New-York State Agricultural 
Society; the Trustees of the Public Library of Taunton; 
the Editors of the " Advocate ; " the Publisher of the 
Savannah " Daily Republican; " John Appleton, M.D. ; 


Messrs. Belding, Keith, and Company ; William Allen 
Butler, Esq. ; Mr. Andrew Cushing ; Mr. Henry B. 
Dawson ; George Hannah, Esq. ; Charles H. Hart, 
Esq. ; Adjutant-General John F. Hodsdon, of Maine ; 
Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; Thomas S. Kirkbride, 
M.D. ; Mrs. George Livermore ; Hon. Alexander H. 
Eice ; Hon. Charles Sumner ; Mrs. Joseph E. Wor- 
cester ; and from Messrs. E. Ames, Ellis, Green, 
Latham, C. Bobbins, J. M. Bobbins, Waterston, and 
Winthrop, of the Society. 

J. Anthony Froude, F.S.A., of London, and Leopold 
Von Banke, of Berlin, were elected Honorary Members ; 
and Messrs. Charles C. Smith and George S. Hale, of 
Boston, were elected Eesident Members. 

The annual Eeports of the Standing Committee, of the 
Librarian, of the Treasurer, and of the Cabinet-keeper, 
were laid before the meeting. These were accepted and 
referred to the Committee on the publication of the 
Proceedings. Mr. Salisbury, from the Committee on 
the Treasurer's accounts, certified their correctness. 

The Annual Report of the Standing Committee. 

The Standing Committee beg leave, in compliance with 
the By-laws of the Society, to make their Annual Report. 

They congratulate the Society on its present prosperous 
condition, and would express their gratitude 'for the numer- 
ous blessings which have, during the past year, so signally 
marked its progress. 

The past history of the Society has been so creditable that 
it gives great pleasure to assure its members, that at no time' 
has it been in a more satisfactory condition than now. 


The rooms have been visited, and the valuable library con- 
sulted, by a far larger number than ever before. Indeed, the 
constantly increasing demand upon the treasures here con- 
tained, proves in the most striking way the wisdom of the 
founders of the Society. In our growing country, the taste 
for historical literature rapidly increases ; and it is naturally 
to this repository, the library of the oldest historical society in 
the country, that the student and the author must resort for 
materials, oftentimes only to be found here. The meetings 
of the Society have been well attended the past year, and 
great interest has been evinced in the proceedings. Most 
valuable contributions have been made, which will duly 
appear in the forthcoming volume. 

We have to record the death of three of our Resident 
Members, namely : — George R. Russell, Esq., Dr. Thomas 
H. Webb, and the venerable Dr. Jenks ; as well as of six 
Honorary and Corresponding Members, namely, Lt.-Gen. 
Winfield Scott, the Hon. Lewis Cass, Theodore Dwight, Esq., 
the Rev. Dr. Hawks, the Hon. Elijah Hayward, and the Right 
Rev. George Burgess ; all of whom were appropriately noticed 
by the President and various members of the Society. 

One Resident and five Honorary and Corresponding Mem- 
bers have been elected during the year. 

The Committee have made the usual examination of the 
Library, and find the same in excellent condition. The 
Report of the Librarian will state the number of volumes, 
manuscripts, and pamphlets it now contains, as well as the 
valuable donations which have been received during the year, 
from members and friends of the Society. It would be proper 
here to refer to the want of shelf-room for our books. Nearly 
one thousand volumes are at the present time without any 
proper accommodation. This is a trite subject of complaint, 
but calls loudly for immediate attention. As the pressing 
wants of the Society are, from time to time, provided for 
by earnest friends and generous benefactors, means will be 


found, we trust, for making this small but very necessary 
addition, before another annual meeting. The Committee 
would also refer to the urgent necessity of an inventory or 
shelf-catalogue, by which the presence of each article may 
be summarily ascertained, so that the annual examination by 
the Committee shall serve as a perfect quittance and dis- 
charge to those who have had official charge of the Collections 
of the Society. 

The Treasurer, in his Report, will show that the Society 
is out of debt ; and will present a satisfactory condition of its 
property, and of the various funds so liberally bestowed upon 
it by its benefactors. 

The sale of the publications of the Society has been, 
by a recent arrangement with Messrs. Wiggin & Lunt, 
placed in their hands ; and it is hoped that this will prove a 
more effectual mode of disposing of them. 

The Cabinet-keeper, in his Report, will show the condition 
of the portraits and other objects of interest in his depart- 
ment. At the meeting in November, the President made the 
announcement that he was, ex officio, nominated one of 
the Trustees of the American Museum of Archaeology and 
Ethnology by the munificent founder thereof; and, at a 
subsequent meeting, on the application of the curator, it 
was voted to deposit in that museum such articles of 
archaeological interest as were contained in the Society's 
cabinet, preserving an accurate list of the same, as the 
property of the Society. A large quantity of such specimens 
will now therefore be transferred to a more appropriate 
place, where they will shake off the accumulated dust of 
half a century, and instruct the student in this hitherto 
neglected field of learning. 

The Recording Secretary of the Society, Mr. Deane, avail- 
ing himself of the announced assemblage of the Archaeological 
Congress at Antwerp, took the occasion to visit Europe for 
several months, and was, with the Rev. Dr. Andrew P. Pea- 


body, accredited as Delegate from this Society to that Con- 
gress. Although disappointed in the special object of his 
visit, he returned laden with the fruits of his most interesting 
excursion, and has freely contributed to the Society from his 
interesting collection of historical lore. His recently pub- 
lished edition of Captain Smith's " True Relation " shows, 
too, his zeal and industry. 

But not our Secretary alone has done honor to the Society. 
The Treasurer, Mr. Frothingham, in his " Life of Warren," 
and our associate, Mr. Parkman, in his " Pioneers of France 
in the New World," have done their full share in the hon- 
orable field of History. And last, though not least, our 
President has faithfully illustrated and handed down to pos- 
terity in living colors the life of his noble ancestor, John 
Winthrop, in a second volume, more interesting even than 
the first. 

The last volume of Mr. Bancroft, and the announcement 
by Mr. Allibone to the President of the completion of his 
Dictionary of Authors, show that our Honorary and Corre- 
sponding Members have not been idle. 

May each successive year produce a similar harvest. 

The prospect before the Society at the commencement of 
the year was somewhat gloomy. The enhanced cost of paper 
and printing had apparently rendered it imperative to cease 
all effort at publishing the Collections or the Proceedings. 

The first ray of sunshine was the generous donation, by 
two of our associates, of five hundred dollars each, to be added 
to the Historical Trust Fund. This was soon followed by the 
noble gift of twenty thousand dollars from our Honorary Mem- 
ber, George Peabody, Esq., of London, the income of which 
is to be devoted to the publication and illustration of the 
Proceedings and the Memoirs, and to the preservation of the 
historical portraits ; a gift so timely, so wisely directed, that 
now, with the income of the Appleton Fund and that of the 
Peabody Fund, the Society may hope never to be delayed 


from printing important material already stored in its ar- 
chives, or contributed at its stated meetings. 

Resolutions expressing the deep gratitude of the Society 
to the generous donor of this fund, and the purpose on its 
part to devote more earnest and faithful labor, were adopted 
by the Society, and will appear in the forthcoming volume of 

Incipient measures have been taken to procure a bust 
of Mr. Peabody, in accordance with a vote passed by the 

The hope has been expressed, that, at a future day, not 
far distant, the Society may be able to occupy the lower 
room (now leased to a Savings Bank), and thus have ample 
accommodation for the library, portraits, and cabinet. This 
building, so centrally situated, overlooking, as it does, the 
graves of the Fathers, would then be devoted to the one 
great purpose for which the Society was instituted. 

Leverett Saltonstall, 


Annual Report of the Librarian. 

The donations to the library, the past year, have been 
5,639, namely: — 

Printed Books 369 

Pamphlets 3,676 

Bound volumes of Newspapers 5 

Newspapers, unbound 1,233 

Manuscript volumes 8 

Other Manuscripts 180 

Broadsides 105 

Maps 43 

Plans 2 

. Charts 9 

Fac-simile of a Manuscript 1 

" Confederate " Bonds 8 



The number of books taken out is not large. A few of 
them have been retained longer than the by-laws authorize ; 
and the attention of the members of the Society has been 
called to the rule, which requires the return of every volume 
before the annual examination. The privilege of keeping 
books out longer than the time specified in the rule can be 
granted, upon application, by the Standing Committee ; but 
discretion might well be left with the Librarian to determine, 
both when it should be allowed, and when it is abused. The 
members who use the books are few in number, and the 
greatest latitude, consistent with the Rules, should be 
allowed them, where they are employed upon tasks to facili- 
tate which this Society was established. The books are in 
safe hands : but two or three volumes have been lost during 
many years, and not one since the last Report. 

In order to ascertain the precise number of volumes in the 
library, a careful count has been made, and the number on 
each shelf noted and preserved for future reference. 

The aggregate of the Dowse Collection in this 

apartment, is 4,650 

In the middle room 5,915 

In the Librarian's room 469 

In the upper large room 4,356 

In the upper small room 906 

• Of Manuscripts 1,001 

Of Newspapers 714 

In all, at this date, April 1, 1867 18,011 

The whole number of pamphlets unbound is believed to 
exceed twenty-three thousand. It seemed hardly worth the 
labor to count them for our present purpose, as many of them 
are in piles or parcels not easily accessible. In classifying 
them, as is proposed, as soon as opportunity offers, this count 
can be effected with less difficulty. 


After the exact number of separate volumes, pamphlets, 
maps, and other articles is ascertained, a tabular statement, 
perfected each year by adding the accessions, will exhibit, 
after any long period, the progressive growth of the library ; 
and, with the help of the shelf-lists hereinbefore mentioned 
greatly lighten the toil of examination. 

It would not be doing justice to the pressing wants of the 
Society, were no reference made to the fact, that our acces- 
sions depend mainly upon donations and exchanges ; and that 
we have no means to procure current historical publications. 
The library would be more used, and consequently more 
valuable, if, by finding in it recent works, members were 
tempted to have recourse to it for its other treasures. A 
moderate fund left to accumulate, would in time enable our 
successors to supply deficiencies now seriously felt in nearly 
every department. 

Thomas C. Amory, 


April 11, 1867. 

Annual Report of the Treasurer. 



Balance of account of 1866 $1,366.31 

John Appleton, salary 999.96 

George Arnold 699.97 

Insurance 187.50 

Incidental expenses . . *. . . 307.44 

City of Boston, Tax 845.00 

Printing 396.92 

Binding 113.10 

Repairs 25.38 

Coal 91.00 

Appleton Fund 732.18 

Sears Fund 266.15 

Nathaniel Thayer 1,000.00 




Suffolk Savings Institution, rent $2,200.00 

Suffolk Savings Institution, tax 845.00 

Sales of Society's Publications 612.16 

Copyright op sales of " Life of John Q. Adams " ' 34.20 

Assessments • . 385.50 

Admission Fees 20.00 

Sundries 2.05 

David Sears, subscription to the Mass. Hist. Trust-Fund . . 500.00 

Nathaniel Thayer, subscription to the Mass. Hist. Trust-Fund 500.00 

Nathaniel Thayer, borrowed 1,000.00 

Balance to new account 932.00 



This Fund consisted of ten thousand dollars, presented to 
the Society, Nov. 18, 1854, by the executors of the will of 
the late Samuel Appleton, on the condition that its income 
be applied to the purchase, preservation, and publication of 
historical material. It was received from the executors in ten 
shares of manufacturing stocks. These stocks were sold in 
February and March, 1863, and the net proceeds, amounting 
to twelve thousand two hundred and three dollars, were 
invested in the real estate of the Society, according to the 
Declaration of Trust on file, and recorded in the Register of 
Deeds' office, book 827, p. 63. Volumes three, four, five, and 
six, of the Fourth Series of the Society's Collections, were 
printed from the income of this fund, and the strictly his- 
torical portions of the volumes of the Proceedings of the 
Society for 1862-63, and for 1864-65. 

Account ending April, 1867. 


John Appleton, preparing papers $183.37 

Thomas Aspinwall, copying 30.33 

John Wilson and Son, printing historical portion of the Pro- 
ceedings of 1864-65 1,034.50 

Balance to new account 245.64 

% $1,493.84 

Balance of Account of 1866 $761.66 

. One year's Interest of the Fund 732.18 




This fund was originally two thousand dollars, presented 
to the Society by Hon. David Sears, by an instrument dated 
October 15, 1855, and accepted November. 8, 1855. This pro- 
vides that the income is to be added to the principal annually, 
between July and January, to form a new investment ; but 
in any year before such investment the Society may, by vote, 
expend the income for such purposes as may be required ; 
or it may, by vote, expend the accumulations of the income, 
in whole or in part, towards the purchase or improvement of 
the premises belonging to the Society ; " or in the purchase 
of works of art or desirable objects : " provided that in no 
case whatever " the original trust-sum be encroached upon 
or diminished." By a vote of the Society, the sum of five hun- 
dred dollars was paid, July 5, 1859, from the accumulation, in 
aid of paying the debt incurred by the purchase of the estate 
which the Society owns. No other expenditure has been 
authorized to be made from the accumulation of this fund. 
On the 26th of December, 1866, the principal was increased 
by a subscription, by the Hon. David Sears, of five hundred 
dollars, and by Nathaniel Thayer, Esq., of five hundred dol- 
lars, which makes the principal of the fund three thousand 

The accumulations of income, with the interest cast to 
September 1, 1866, amount to $1,016.72. 

Account ending September 1, 1866. 


Balance to new Account $1,016.72 

$ 1,016.72 


Balance of t>ld Account $750.57 

Interest due on the Fund 266.15 




This fund was presented to the Society by George Pea- 
body, Esq., in a letter dated January 1, 1867, inclosing an 
order for $20,000 in 10-40 coupon bonds, and providing that 
they or their proceeds shall be held by the Society as " a 
permanent trust-fund, of which the income shall be appropri- 
ated to the publication and illustration of their Proceedings 
and Memoirs, and to the preservation of their Historical Por- 
traits." This trust was accepted, by a vote of the Society, 
January 10, 1867. The coupon bonds have been exchanged 
for two United-States 10-40 bonds of $10,000 each, registered 
in the name of the Society, dated January 12, 1867, and num- 
bered 9,904 and 9,905, with the interest payable in Boston. 

Account to April, 1867. 


Paid John Wilson and Son for Paper $305.76 

Balance 390.49 



By Six Months' Interest , $696.25 



This fund, of ten thousand dollars, was presented to the 
Society, April, 1857, by the executors of the will of the late 
Thomas Dowse ; and it was invested in a note signed by 
Edward Hyde and O. W. Watris, and secured by a mortgage 
on real estate. This note was paid on the 7th of April, 1863 ; 
and the whole fund was then invested in the real estate of 
the Society. The income of this fund is included in the rent 
received from the Suffolk Savings Bank; and the expenditure 
is included in salaries paid to the Assistant Librarian and to 
Mr. Arnold, who are employed in the care of the Dowse 



The Estate on Tremont Street. — The Society purchased, 
March 6, 1833, of the Provident Institution for Savings, the 
second story, and one-half of the attic story, of this building, 
for $6,500 ; and on the 13th of March, 1856, the remainder of 
the interest of that institution, for $35,000. A portion of this 
was paid by subscription; and, for the remainder, the Society 
mortgaged the whole estate to the Suffolk Savings-Bank for 
Seamen and Others for $27,500. This mortgage was dis- 
charged on the 7th of April, 1863. The payments of the note 
have been as follows : Two thousand dollars from the legacy 
of Miss Mary P. Townsend ; sixteen hundred dollars from the 
legacy of the late Nathaniel I. Bowditch ; five hundred dollars 
from the Historical Trust-Fund ; twelve thousand two hun- 
dred and three dollars from the net proceeds of the sale of 
stocks of the Appleton Fund ; ten thousand dollars from the 
note of Hyde and Watris, constituting the Dowse Fund ; and 
the balance, eleven hundred and ninety-seven dollars, from a 
donation by the late Hon. William Sturgis, to enable the 
Society to discharge the mortgage. The lower floor is 
rented to the Suffolk Savings Bank for fifteen years from 
March 1, 1856, at an annual rent of $2,200. 

The Library, Paintings, and Cabinet. — The library con- 
sists of about thirteen thousand three hundred bound volumes 
and twenty-three thousand pamphlets. 

The Society's Publications. — These consist of the thirty- 
seven volumes of the Collections, six volumes of Proceedings, 
and two volumes of the Catalogue, — making nearly seventy- 
six hundred volumes, which are for sale. 

The Appleton Fund, of ten thousand dollars ; The Massa- 
chusetts Historical Trust-Fund, of three thousand dollars; The 
Dowse Fund, of ten thousand dollars, — all invested in the 
real estate of the Society, as explained above in this Eeport. 

The Peabody Fund. — Invested in two registered United- 


States 10-40 bonds of $10,000 each, bearing five per cent 

The Dowse Library. — This library was presented to the 
Society by the late Thomas Dowse, and consists of four thou- 
sand six hundred and fifty volumes. 

The Copyright and Stereotype Plates of the " Life of John 
Quincy Adams." — This was presented to the Society by 
the Hon. Josiah Quincy. It is on sale by Nichols and Noyes. 


The income of the Society consists of an annual assess- 
ment, on each resident member, of seven dollars, or, instead, 
the payment of sixty dollars; the admission-fee, often dollars, 
of new members ; the rent of the lower floor of the Society's 
building; the sales of the publications of the Society, the 
sales of the " Life of John Quincy Adams,' 7 and the interest 
on the Peabody Fund. 

An arrangement with a publishing firm, Messrs. Wiggin 
& Lunt, was made June 16, 1866, to sell the publications 
of the Society. The first account of sales, for six months, to 
January 1, 1867, amounted to $420.51. The Assistant Libra- 
rian has sold to the members, during the year, books to the 
amount of $191.55. Total sales, $612.16. 

The Society have, on hand for sale, besides books to the 
value of about $100 in the hands of the publishers, 4,913 
bound volumes and 2,638 in sheets. As they contain a vast 
amount of valuable historical material, it is presumed they 
will be called for. 

The expense of printing was so great that the Society 
were obliged to suspend the publication of their Collections, — 
all the available means being absorbed in the printing of the 
volume of Proceedings for 1864-65. The liberality of the Hon. 
David Sears, and of Nathaniel Thayer, Esq., in contributing 
welcome additions to the Massachusetts Historical Trust- 


Fuhd, and the noble endowment, by George Peabody, Esq., 
of the Peabody Fund, enable the publishing committees to 
resume their labors. And the Treasurer would congratulate 
the Society on the satisfactory aspect of its finances. 



Boston, April 11, 1867. 

Annual Report of the Cabinet-keeper. 

The Cabinet-keeper of the Society respectfully submits the 
following Report on the condition and wants of his depart- 
ment, during the past year. 

Additions have been made to it from seventeen persons, 
and while the accessions have not been so many as in 
some former years, a few of them deserve special mention. 
Among these is a bust of the late President Sparks, given 
by Mrs. Sparks ; an iron table of an original design, made 
from pieces prepared for the new dome of the Capitol at 
Washington, by Benjamin B. French, Esq. This table has a 
further interest from the fact that it was used by the late 
President Lincoln, while delivering his Inaugural Address, 
March 4, 1865. A beautiful miniature portrait of Daniel 
Webster was given by the late Mrs. Isaac P. Davis ; and 
copies of original profiles of George and Martha Washington, 
handsomely framed, were given by our associate member, the 
Rev. Robert C. Waterston. 

The department of the " cabinet " now consists of a large 
number of portraits of individuals, distinguished in their day 
and generation; of a collection of engravings; of coins and 
medals, some of which are of more than ordinary rarity ; and 
of stone implements, besides many other articles of too miscel- 
laneous a character to be easily classified. 

Since the munificent endowment of a professorship of 
archaeology, and the establishment of a museum, at Cam- 
bridge, an impetus has been given to the study of every 


thing belonging to the North- American Indians ; and a value 
has been imparted to the stone relics, which form one of the 
few links that connect us with the red men of this continent. 
These curiosities are now receiving from ethnologists an 
attention which they have long merited. Their value depends 
in a great measure upon a systematic arrangement of the 
specimens, which will show, by regular gradations and series, 
the development of ideas and the progress of art among the 
people using them. In a small collection, the fullest amount 
of facts and hints cannot be attained. For this reason, the 
Society judiciously voted, at the last January meeting, that 
such aboriginal relics as should be selected from the cabinet, 
by the Curator of the Peabody Museum under the direction 
of the Standing Committee of this Society, should be deposited 
at Cambridge ; and that a list of all such articles should be 
kept by the Society, as well as by the Museum, in order that 
they may be recognized always as the property of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society. By this action, without doubt, 
the purpose of the original donors will be better subserved. 
This transfer has not as yet been made, on account of the late 
absence of Professor Wyman ; but it will soon take place. 

We have now little opportunity of showing in a satisfactory 
manner the articles in the cabinet. Many of them deserve 
better places than they have at present ; we hope, however, 
the time will soon come when we shall be able to bring to 
light those things which are hidden, and arrange them in a 
room fitted up expressly for the purpose. Suitable cases and 
spacious shelves are needed, where they can be displayed in 
a way, which of itself will invite and encourage additions. 

Our portraits, forming always one of the most interesting 
and valuable features of the collection, are beginning to be 
so affected by time that they require the skill of an artist to 
restore them. This would involve an expenditure of money 
which the finances of the Society hitherto would not warrant; 
but, with the funds so recently and generously given by Mr. 


Peabody, the Cabinet-keeper trusts that soon some repair and 
restoration may be made for this department. 
Respectfully submitted, 

Samuel A. Green, Cabinet-keeper. 

April 11, 18G7. 

The President communicated two papers, copies of 
which were to be taken for the use of the Society. 
One was an agreement between Uncas (the Sachem of 
the Mohegans) and the Government of Connecticut, 
dated the 18th of May, 1681 ; and the other, a letter of 
Hugh Peter, without date, written from England to the 
first Governor Win thro p. They here follow : — 

Agreement between Uncas and the Colony of Connecticut.* 

Whereas the colony of Conecticutt & Yncass Sachem of 
Moheag are & haue been Neighbo r s one to another for the 
space of about forty flue yeares, & whereas there hath been 
good freind ship between us mayntained in the dayes of the 
first Gouerno r s of the Colony of Conecticutt, & agreements of 
mutuall respect & freindship made by & between vs, which 
through the length of time are allmost forgott, to the end that 
that ancient amity & respect between the English of sayd 
Conecticutt & the sayd Vncass & people of Mohegin, may be 
continued & mayntayned for euer ; I the sayd Vncass, Sachem 
of Mohegin, for my selfe, my heires & successor, doe enter 
into a League of amity with the Colony of Conecticutt & 
theire successo r s as followeth. 

1 : That I with all my people will carry it as freinds & allies to the 
sayd Colony of Conecticutt & theire successor, & will doe no 
wrong nor Injury nor damage to them or any of theire people, & If 
any thing be by vs or any of us done, vpon complaynt thereof it 
shall be forthwith redressed & reparation made. 

* This " Agreement," without the signatures affixed at its original execution, may- 
be seen in Trumbull's " Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut," i.. 309-11. — Ed. 


2 : I doe resigne vp to the sayd Colony of Conecticutt all my lands & 
Territories, hereby for my selfe my heires & successor, bindeing 
my selfe & them that I will make no other disspose of them to any 
person or people whatsoeuer without their grant & allowance first 
had & obteynd, & that they shall be dissposed in plantations, vil- 
lages or farmes, according as the Generall Court of Conecticutt shall 
order & determine the same, I allwayes to receiue such reasonable 
sattisfaction for my propriety in them according as we shall agree. 

3 : I doe hereby confirm all Grants of lands I haue all ready made to 
any plantations or perticular person or persons that stand now pos- 
sessd & seized of them, to be to them, their heirs & successor for 
euer firm & Good, the Court approueing of them. 

4 : I doe for myselfe & successor, covenant & agree to & with the sayd 
Generall Court of Conecticutt afoarsayd, that I will not plott nor 
practice any evill against them, nor consent to any that shall so 
doe, but upon Knowledg of any euill designe against them will 
timely discover it to the authority of Conecticutt from time to 

5 : I doe promise that in all matters of waight & concernment, I & my 
successor will take advice of the Generall Court of Conecticutt from 
time to time, especially in the Makeing of peace & war with any 
person or people, & in all leagues of Freindship that I shall make, 
& that I will make no League of freindship with any person or 
people that are in enmitie with the Colony of Conecticutt. 

6 : I doe bind my selfe my heires & successor to be ready to assist the 
Colony of Conecticutt upon any occasion when there peace shall be 
dissturbed with any enemie, Intestine or forreighn, with a competent 
number of fighting men to be Improued for there safety in such 
way as they shall judge most expedient, & as I am able to spare. 

7 : I doe desire that this League of amity May Include my son Owane- 
coe & my Grandson Josiah & theire posterity, & all our people, 
& that It may remayne Inviolable for euer. 

The Generall Court of Conecticutt doth receiue Vncass & his son 
Owanecoe & Grandson Josiah & their people Into freindship with 
them, & desire the perpetuating of it from Generation to Gene- 
ration>> he or they attending & obserueing the six articles aboue 
written. Then the sayd Generall Court will carry it towards the 
sayd Sachem, his sonn & Grandson, & their people, & their suc- 
cessor, as to o r freinds & allies, & will doe them no wrong nor 
suffer any of o r people to doe them wrong, but upon complaynt & 
proofe will redress it, & grant due sattisfaction. 





2: They shall haue equall justice from vs as our owne people in all 
matters which they shall bring before vs, & that without delay in 
all wherein they shall haue beforehand declared their subjection 
to our lawes. 

3 : In what cases they need our advice (they engageing to attend it) we 
shall be ready to Grant them it freely. 

4 : What euer plantations we grant to any people in their Country & 
Teritories, they shall take care that sufficiency of land for the sayd 
Indians & their successor be still reserued for them to plant on, 
& that a just price be payd for the residue as shall be agreed. 

5 : In case the sayd Sachems shall be Invaded by a forraighn enemie 
or Neighbour heathen upon vnjust Grownds & reasons, we shall 
furnish them with ammunition at a Just price, & o r best advice, 
doeing what the Commissioners shall alowe, & this Generall Court 
thinke fitt, That it may be done with our owne peace & safety to 
preserue him & his people. 

6 : The sayd Sachem, & theire people & successors attending what is 
herein ingaged by them to the Colony of Conecticutt, we allso the 
Generall Court of Conecticutt doe oblidge our selues & suc- 
cessor to attend what is engaged on o r parts to the sayd Sachems 
& their people as afoarsayd, for the confirmation hereof we the 
Generall Court of Conecticutt & Vncass Sachem of Mowheag haue 
sett to our hands this 18 th day May : 1681. 

Signed & delivered in p'sence of 
vs & before the Generall Court 
of Conecticutt : 

Samuell Mason, 
Nehemiah Palmar, 


the mark 

of Wawamat. 

Cottapaset C his marke. 

[An illegible signature or mark.] 

We Ovvanecoe & Josiah doe oblidg 
o r selues to the Colony of Conecticutt 
in those Six aboue written articles, & 
to testify o r consent to & Ingagement 
to fullfill & abide by them, we sett 
o r hands 18 May 1681. 

his marke. 

his marke. 

J O S I H. 


Hugh Peter to Governor Winthrop. 
Deere Brother, — Your letters were deerly welcome vnto mee, 
and truly nothing but death can part vs, which I haue conceited to 
bee neere mee, being ouerlayd with hypocon : melancholy after these 
warres ; oh that I were to dye in y r bosome ; nothing in the world more 
affects mee then my being here now I conceiue the worke is in part 
ouer, though it is like to begin another way : you will haue much by 
other hands. I am resolud to come in Maior Bourne if life & ability 
will reach it : for M r Weld, hee is in a great streight what to doe. The 
Lord helpe vs to wash of all scandalls wee haue contracted by our 
staying here. Truly (S r ) I haue little to say but that you all doe well 
to loue New Engl : it will bee a precious corner still : only bee tender 
towards those that hold Christ for the head, & would liue quietly vnder 
y r gouernment : not that I loue errors, I hate and abhominate what euer 
is not of God, & profes agaynst, but what will you doe with men 
dissenting? deuise a. way for them to liue & all is well. Let the 
Magistrate and Elders but deuise a way to bring that about ; and you 
will haue many frends here. I am no tolerator, but a peacemaker I 
would bee. Y r son Stephen doth all here by good counsayle, giue yo r 
and his wife an account of it, and you may bee assured I shall not 
fayle you nor y m to my utmost. All Europe is vnder an houre of 
temptation, and if you escape there it will bee well. If I come not 
say I am dead, & then let my wife returne, & child if shee will, though 
there I wish them to stay. I am selling my land to inable to come, 
let what I haue there bee wisely sold by peecemeale, to stop my 
wife's complaynts of want. I shall much trust y r selfe, & intend to 
liue w th you, if I come. Salute my deere sister & all y rs - I am 
y r8 eu r & eu r , Hu: Peter.* 

Mr. S. Lincoln, from the Committee appointed to 
nominate a list of officers for this year, presented the 
following names : — 

* This letter bears no date ; but, by comparing it with other letters of the writer 
published in the " Winthrop Papers," we believe it to have been written in the spring 
or summer of 1647. The wife of Peter, who is referred to in this letter, had previously- 
sailed from London with Captain Hawkins, arriving at Boston on the 19th of October, 
1646. (Winthrop's N.E., ii. 351.) She was on the point of embarking, or had already 
sailed, on the 4th of September (4 Mass. Hist. Coll. vi. 109). Peter hoped to follow 
her. He was always expressing, in his letters to New England, his intention of return- 
ing hither; but this fond hope he never realized. The "land" he says he is "selling," 
was probably that given to him by Parliament, which he had but barely " turned into 
money " by May, 1647. (Ibid. 109, 110.) — Eds. 





Hon. JOHN C. GRAY, LL.D Boston. 

Recording Secretary. 

CHARLES DEANE, A.M Cambridge. 

Corresponding Secretary. 
Rev. CHANDLER ROBBINS, D.D. . Boston. 




Standing Committee 

Rev. GEORGE E. ELLIS, D.D Charlestown. 

HENRY W. TORREY, A.M. . , Cambridge. 




The above-named gentlemen were duly elected. 

On motion of Dr. Robbins, it was voted, that the 
thanks of the Society be presented to Mr. Saltonstall, 
the Chairman of the Standing Committee, and to his 
retiring associates, for their valuable services on that 

On motion of the Treasurer, it was voted, that the 
thanks of the Society be presented to our associates, 
Messrs. Sears and Thayer, for their generous donation, 
of $500 each, to be added to the " Historical Trust- 



Messrs. Robbins, Lothrop, and Torrey were appointed 
a Committee to publish a volume from the " Mather 
Papers," belonging to the Old South Church, but now 
on loan to this Society for publication. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, May 9, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; the 
President, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts ; the American Numismatic 
and Archaeological Society ; the Essex Institute ; the 
Mercantile-Library Association of San Francisco ; the 
Minnesota Historical Society ; the State Historical 
Society of Iowa ; the Trustees of the Peabody Institute ; 
the editors of the " Advocate ; " the proprietors of the 
" Heraldic Journal ; " Professor Louis Agassiz ; John 
Appleton, M.D.; H. W. Bryant, Esq.; Mr. H. H. 
Clements ; John H. Ellis, Esq. ; Hon. Hugh B. Grigsby ; 
Edward Jarvis, M.D. ; Brantz Mayer, Esq. ; Edward 
B. O'Callaghan, M.D. ; Mr. Oliver J. Band ; Eev. Noah 
H. Schenck, D.D. ; Mr. William H. Taylor ; Ebenezer 
Torrey, Esq. ; Hon. Henry Wilson ; Mrs. Joseph E. 
Worcester; Stephen J. Young, Esq.; and from Messrs. 
T. C. Amory, W. G. Brooks, Deane, Denny, Green, 
E. E. Hale, Latham, C. Bobbins, Wheatland, and Win- 
throp, of the Society. 


The President communicated a letter from William 
T. Davis, Esq., of Plymouth, inclosing a number of 
early papers, chiefly brief depositions taken before 
the early magistrates of that colony. These contained 
the autograph signatures of William Bradford, the 
Deputy Governor ; James Cudworth ; Thomas Hink- 
ley ; Josiah Winslow ; Nathaniel Morton ; Samuel 
Sprague ; John Freeman ; John Thacher ; and Bar- 
nabas Lothrop. A letter of James Otis, of the following 
century, was included in the parcel. 

A suitable acknowledgment was directed to be made 
for this gift. 

Mr. Hale desired to be excused from serving on the 
Committee appointed to publish a volume of " Wash- 
ington Papers " from letters in the possession of the 
family of the late Edward Everett, as he felt himself 
quite inadequate to the labor involved. 

Mr. Hale's request was granted, and Mr. Waterston 
and Mr. Amory now constitute that Committee. 

Mr. Amory read a letter, addressed to himself from 
A. G. P. Dodge, Esq., of New York, inclosing a list of 
valuable relics of the late President Madison, which 
were offered for sale ; and inquiring if this Society, or 
any similar institution, would like to purchase them. 
The Society took no action on this communication, 
leaving it for any member to avail himself of the infor- 
mation it contained. 

Mr. Hale asked leave to deposit in an upper room 
of the Society, for a short time, Duchesne's models of 
buildings in the city of Boston. The application was 
referred to the Standing Committee, with full power. 


Mr. Deane read the following letter, addressed to 
himself, from our Corresponding Member, the Hon. 
Hugh Blair Grigsby, of Virginia, giving the origin of 
the name " Newport's News." 

Hon. Hugh Blair Grigsby to Charles Deane, Esq. 

Edgehill, near Charlotte C. H., Virginia, 
April 14, 1867. 

My Dear Sir, — I cheerfully comply with your request to give 
what I deem the true spelling, as well as the true meaning, of the 
name commonly written and printed " Newport's News." It is the 
most remarkable instance of a departure from the true spelling of a 
name, begun two hundred and forty-two years ago, and continued ever 
since, that has occurred in our hist6ry. It presents likewise an inter- 
esting example of the pertinacity with which the popular ear has, 
through a long trail of generations, retained the sound of the true 
name, in spite of an error which was almost contemporaneous with 
its origin, and which prevails at the present day. It is likewise 
instructive to note, in the repeated stages of the spelling of the name, 
a restlessness of the public mind, and a dim consciousness that some- 
thing was wrong, without the ability to point out where the error lay. 
This inquiry has now an additional interest from the fact, that a new 
impulse has been recently given to the fortunes of Newport's News ; 
and that, having first been made the outlet of a vast network of west- 
ern railroads, it may become the port of exportation and importation 
of a large part of the products and of the commerce of the West. 

I will first trace the word through its popular spellings during the 
last sixty or seventy years, and then pursue its history through our 
public records. And, first, as to the popular spelling. Let me observe 
that, from the origin of the name to the present day, it has ever been 
pronounced Newport-Nuse, as if the word " News " was spelt Nuse, 
the hard sound of the " s " being always distinguishable. I speak of 
its pronunciation by veritable sailors, the genuine Old Salts ; and not 
the modern hybrid of the sea, the steamboat man, who has rarely been 
out of sight of the shore. Such was the pronunciation of my youth, 
and I have adhered to it throughout life. Now, there is a plain dis- 
tinction between the sounds of Newport-Nuse with the hard sound 
of " s," and Newport's News; and an effort was made by the press 


to conform the spelling to the popular pronunciation. As history 
recorded no news in connection with Newport, it was very properly 
deemed that there was some mistake about that word ; and, as there 
was in the adjoining State of North Carolina a river called the Neuse, 
and as our early associations with that State had been intimate, it was 
thought that there may have been some relation between Newport 
and that river, which, in the lapse of years, had been forgotten ; and 
accordingly the name of our veteran Admiral Newport and the name 
of the fair water-nymph of Carolina were joined together for a term of 
years in a most affectionate union.* But there arose by degrees a 
conviction in the public mind, that the union between the old salt 
and the fresh-water nymph was illegitimate ; and ultimately there was 
a divorce a vinculo matrimonii between the parties, and a new name 
was hunted up for the old man. 

About this time, some curious persons, who visited the spot, 
observed a curve in the shore ; and, connecting the curve with the 
image of a noose, such as a Mexican flings over the horns of wild 
cattle, thought that they had discovered the origin of the name. 
Indeed, as late as 1864, an eminent writer of the American Anti- 
quarian Society says, " that an antiquarian friend told him that he was 
passing Newport's News thirty years ago on a steamer, and the old 
pilot told him that they called it Newport's Noose, and pointed to the 
cove at the northwest point of land as the noose," — the very noose 
that gave name to the place.f 

But this new spelling, whether from the conviction that a curved 
line could not be a noose, which to hold any thing securely should be 
circular and movable, or from the well-known tendency of error " to 
writhe amid her worshippers," soon had its day ; and the newspapers 
once more fell back upon the old word " News," and were upheld by 
some ingenious person, who was kind enough to sustain the reading 
by an incident in our history. The story runs, that on the memorable 
occasion, when the starving colonists, reduced to a mere handful of 
men, had in their four small vessels departed from Jamestown for good 
and all, they met the ships of Captain Newport, filled with fresh emi- 

* At the great massacre of 1622, which happened a few months after the naming 
of Newport's News, some of the Virginia colonists took refuge in North Carolina. 
Campbell's History of the Colony and Ancient Dominion of Virginia, 164, where Mar- 
tin's History of North Carolina, i. 87, is cited. I quote the Philadelphia edition of 
1860, of Campbell. 

t Proceedings of the American Antiquarinn Society, October, 1864. See note to 
the Remarks of Charles Deane, Esq., pp. 71, 72. 


grants and stores of provisions, off this very point of Newport's News, 
and joyfully returned with their deliverers to the deserted city. The 
misfortune of this narrative is, that there is hardly a word of truth in 
it. It is, indeed, true, that in 1610 the colonists did leave Jamestown ; 
but, instead of reaching Newport's News, they had gone only as far as 
Mulberry Island, in the James, a long distance from the place in ques- 
tion ; and, instead of meeting Captain Newport, in command of the 
relieving fleet, they met a longboat from the fleet which was com- 
manded by Sir Thomas West, Lord Delaware, and forthwith returned 
to Jamestown.* Now Newport was really present on this occasion, — 
which, by the way, happened eleven years before " Newport's News " was 
named, — but was one of the poor starving colonists himself, and 
returned with his fellow-sufferers to the settlement. Thus it is plain 
that Newport and Newport's News had no connection with the case. 

Let us trace the name in our histories and on the map. I would 
observe that the spelling of common, and more especially of proper, 
names was, in the beginning of the seventeenth century, unsettled and 
arbitrary ; and that our hero, Captain Smith, seems to have spelt the 
names of men by the ear, and without any regard to their orthography. 
Thus Smith, as late as 1624, spells the name of Newport, whom he 
had known so long and so well, iVwport ; and he spells the name of 
the same person differently at different times. The first mention of the 
name of Newport's News is in Smith's General History, first published 
in 1624, where it is printed import's Newes.f It is mentioned by 
Beverley and Stith, and in every instance the final word is spelt 
News ; but no explanation, which the writer ought to have given 
and would have given if he could, and which, if the word had been 
designed to commemorate some remarkable incident in our history, 
would have been reported, is given by Smith or Stith. Beverley, 
whose history of Virginia appeared in 1705, alone alludes to its origin, 
and says, "It was in October, 1621, that Sir Francis Wyat arrived 
governor ; and in November, Captain Newport arrived with fifty men 
imported at his own charge, besides passengers, and made a plantation 
on Newport's News, naming it after himself" X Here, then, the 
important fact is stated that Newport named the place after himself, 

* Campbell's History of Virginia, 97, 98. 

f "Newport News" is mentioned in a letter from Virginia, under date of Feb., 
1622-3. Another letter of April 8th of that year — the same which speaks of the death 
of Captain " Nuse," referred to in a note further on — is dated from " Newport News." 
(Sainsbury's Calendar of Colonial Papers, pp. 41-43.) — Note by Mr. Deane. 

| Beverley's History of Virginia, p. 38. Richmond, 1855. 



that is, he gave to it his own name ; but the historian is silent about 
the word " News," which is certainly not a part of Newport's name ; 
and which, if spelt correctly, was manifestly designed to commemorate 

On the map of Virginia, published in the middle of the last century, 
by Professor Fry and Mr. Jefferson, the father of the President, the 
word is still spelt News. As all subsequent spellings must be derived 
from the earliest authorities, those who tread in their footsteps throw 
no light upon the subject. Now I think I can show that the word 
" News " was never used by Newport at all ; and that Captain Smith, 
and his English contemporaries, were misled by the bad spelling of 
that a«;e, and from the accidental coincidence of the sound of the word 
" News " With the sound of the word which I shall proceed to point 

I have already quoted from Beverley a passage, in which he 
announces the arrival of Sir Francis Wyat, in October, 1621 ; and, 
in the following month, of Captain Newport, with fifty servants 
imported at his own expense, and the settlement of Newport at a 
place which he subsequently named Newport's News. It will be 
remembered that this was a remarkable epoch in the Colony. The 
emigration from England was extraordinary. During the years 1621 
and 1622, three thousand five hundred emigrants had arrived; and 
the prospects of the new settlement, soon to be darkened for a time 
by the most appalling event in our early history, were more brilliant 
than they had ever been before. There had been a total change in the 
government of Virginia, which was then established upon principles, 
the influence of which has been felt to the present day. # The Lon- 
don Company furnished the new governor, Sir Francis Wyat, with 
the most special instructions, all of which have come down to us in the 
faithful pages of Hening ; and one of which was : " George Sandys 
appointed treasurer ; and he is to put in execution all orders of court 
about staple commodities : to whom is allotted fifteen hundred acres 
and fifty tenants; to the marshal Sir William Newce the same."f 
Of George Sandis, I will only say in passing, that he was the trans- 
lator of the Metamorphoses of Ovid, and of a part of the iEneid of 
Virgil ; that some of his sweet hymns are still read with delight by 
every lover of our fine old poetry ; and that it is pleasant to recognize 
such a person as holding a high office in our Colony. But Sir William 

* Campbell, 150. 
• f Hening's Statutes at Large, i. pp. 114, 115. 


Newce is a more important character for my present purposes. As 
marshal of the Colony, he was bound to reside at or near Newport's 
News ; and, as we know that he lived in Elizabeth City, tha county 
in which the point is situated, it is probable that he located his fifteen 
hundred acres of land at or near that place ; * for it was the invariable 
custom of our ancestors to settle upon the banks of streams, f And, as 
we certainly know that Captain Newport did locate his warrants at the 
place which he called Newport's News, it is not improbable that 
the spirit of speculation which then prevailed, and which was stimu- 
lated by the recent increase of population, led those prominent men to 
unite their fortunes, and, in imitation of the examples of daily occur- 
rence in the old country, to signalize their union by the adoption of 
their joint names as the appellation of their place. Or it may have 
happened that Newport, cherishing a high regard for Sir William 
Newce, added, in a spirit of courtesy, his name to his own. | 

Let us recall, for a moment, a picture of that era. Let us glance 
at the old sailor Newport, who, having buffeted in the miserable vessels 
of that day for so many years the dangers of the ocean, and encoun- 
tered the innumerable perils of an abode in a land of savages, is at last 
settled in his quiet home. He is strolling by the shore. A thought 
strikes him ; and he pauses in his path, and gazes upon the watery 
waste around him. The waves of the majestic James, after a course 
of hundreds of miles through that fertile West, which is to be 

* He resided at or near Newport's News, as we know from his efforts to aid the 
refugees at the time of the massacre of 1622. — Campbell, 164. 

f "Sir William Neuce," and "Captain Thomas Neuce," are both named in "An 
Ordinance ... for a Council of State and General Assembly " for Virginia, July 24, 
1621. (Stith, App. p. 32.) Sir William was made " Knight-Martial of Virginia," by the 
king, and came over in 1621 ; " but died," says Stith (p. 189), " two days after the read- 
ing his Patent and Commission." Captain Thomas Neuce (or Newce, for Stith spells 
the name both ways), who was " Deputy and Superintendent of the Company's Lands/' 
probably came over at the same time. He resided at Elizabeth City, and was regarded 
as a person of the highest character for efficiency and benevolence. (Ibid. p. 236.) 
In a letter from Virginia, dated April 3, 1623, he is said to be "lately dead;" and 
another letter, five days later, mentions that "Capt. Nuce died poor," and speaks 
of an "allowance" to his "widow and child." She was a woman highly com- 
mended for " her virtue and desert." (Sainsbury's Calendar of Colonial Papers, pp. 
41-43; Stith, p. 237.) — Note by Mr. Deane. 

% The joint union of names, to designate joint possessions, has been common in 
England, time immemorial. The name of " Newport-Pagnell " has just met my eye. 
In Virginia, we have " Hampden-Sidney " and " Randolph-Macon;" in Pennsylvania, 
" Wilkesbarre; " and in Connecticut, we have " Saybrook." Had Newport-Newce 
been made up of any two names, neither of which could have been confounded with a 
common noun, the mistake would never have occurred. 


jieopled by future millions, and to which Jefferson in his old age 
fondly turned as the last hope of freedom, are murmuring at his feet. 
Before bim is that maguificent roadstead, which is formed by the union 
of the James with the beauteous Elizabeth, whose silver waters, as if 
wooing already to her bosom, the wealth of future Carolinas, are 
wending their way from the South ; and in which the combined navies 
of the world might ride with ease, and in safety from the fiercest 
storm. On his left lies that Mediterranean of our Commonwealth, the 
bay of Chesapeake, penetrating far into the interior of the- North, and 
receiving, as its lawful tribute, the outpouring of a hundred streams. 
And beyond the Chesapeake, at the distance of two hours' sail, its 
low guardian capes almost visible in the bright atmosphere of the New 
World, is the blue Atlantic, which he had traversed so often, and 
which he knew so well. A vision of a fair town in the centre of the 
sea-coast of a continent, seated midway between the rigor of the North 
and the fervors of a torrid sun, and destined to be built on the ground 
on which he was standing, looms before him. And we hardly err in 
saying that, when we behold, even in the broader light of modern 
geography, that gorgeous panorama of sea and shore, with those surly 
castles, rising from the deep, that beleaguer it, a more imposing site 
for a commercial city — a true Queen of the Sea — does not exist on 
the face of the earth. The imagination of the old man, who was 
versed in the mysteries of commerce and navigation, embraces all the 
capabilities of the scene ; and he is determined to bestow upon the 
future city not only his own habitation for a dwelling-place, but his own 
name. He accordingly bestows his own name upon it ; for we are 
told expressly by Beverley that he named the place himself: but he 
does not bestow his own name alone. What did he add? The 
word " News " ? Never ; for his history, from the first voyage to the 
Colony to that hour, is well known to us ; and we know that no such 
signal piece of intelligence as would deserve or uphold so conspicuous 
an illustration, occurred in his whole career. Moreover, it is obvious 
that such a piece of news would have made as deep an impression 
upon the mind of his contemporaries as on his own, and would have 
been remembered and recorded by our historians; just as were re- 
corded those reasons which led to the naming of the places from Point 
Comfort to the point called after that Watkins, whose namesakes, and 
perhaps descendants, are counted by thousands in our modern • Com- 
monwealth, and with the blood of whom my own is freely commingled. 
lie casts his eyes over his own lands, which appear too narrow for the 
future city of his heart, and then turns to those of his friend and 


neighbor, Sir William Newce, which adjoin his own. He appreciated 
the character of the knight in all its worth. As a man, as a gentle- 
man, as a member of the British aristocracy, as the highest naval 
officer of the Colony, as a statesman, whose foresight was praise'd by 
Smith,* and as a philanthropist, whose beneficence, dispensed jointly 
by his accomplished wife, has been applauded by the latest historian of 
our Commonwealth,! Sir William was eminently deserving of the 
public regard. There was a congeniality in the tastes of the two men, 
which would tend to foster kind relations between them. Newport 
was the old admiral of the Colony ; and Sir William Newce, in his 
character of marshal,! commanded the fort at or near Newport's News, 
abreast of which all vessels arriving from abroad backed their topsails 
and vailed their flags, in honor of the royal standard of St. George ; 
and it is probable that, when Sir William in his pinnace visited a ship, 
he was not unfrequently attended by Newport himself, who, with the 
inveterate curiosity of an old sea-captain clinging to him, would be 
eager to know something about the voyage of the strange vessel, and 
learn the latest advices from home ; and perhaps — though this I 
speak in a whisper — to wet his lips and warm his heart, with a glass 
or two of that pure madeira which our fathers of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries quaffed in all its glory, but which we, their 
descendants, shall taste no more. Such was Sir William Newce, 
whose name Newport sought to connect with his own in all future 

But let us suppose, for the sake of argument, and for the sake of ar- 
gument only, that Beverley — who, though he did not himself live with 
the contemporaries of Newport, had lived with some of those who had 
lived with those w r ho knew him,§ and who has deliberately recorded 

* Smith's History of Virginia, ii. 77. Richmond, 1819. 

f Campbell's History of Virginia, 164. Philadelphia, 1860. 

J The marshal was not then, as in our day he is, and in a later day in the Colony 
probably became, a civil officer; but was, as the word implies, strictly a military one, 
whose duty it was to command all the forts in the settlement. Hence it was, that, 
while Mr. George Sandys, the friend and fellow-passenger of Sir William, took up his 
abode, as treasurer of the Colony, at Jamestown, the seat of government, Sir William 
resided in Elizabeth City County, in which Newport's News lay;" at which point or at 
Point Comfort, or more probably at both, there was, from the earliest times, a fort to 
guard the outlet of the waters of the Colony. There are remains of several such forts 
on James River, of which we find no mention in our Statutes at Large, published by 
Hening, which, we know, are very defective. 

§ Beverley was probably born between 1650 and 1660, say thirty-five years after 
the reported arrival of Newport in 1621, and the naming of the settlement. He tells us 
that " his first business in the world was among the records of his country," — doubt- 


the arrival of Newport with his fifty men and passengers in 1621, his 
settlement at Newport's News, and his naming the place after himself 
— has fallen into some mistake ; that Newport never visited the Colony 
after *his departure in 1611 ; * and that the person who really did come 
over with the fifty men and passengers in 1621, the very month after the 
arrival of Sir William Newce, was none other than the famous Daniel 
Gookin himself, who did settle at that time, as we know that he did, 
at or near Newport's News, — and we readily see how the place might 
have received its name. Gookin, as the word implies, and as we 
know, was of English origin ; and, though coming " out of Ireland," as 
stated by Smith, had never been included within the Celtic pale, and was 
a man of energy and intelligence. A son of his is not undistinguished 
in your own annals. The valor of Gookin during the massacre of 
1622 has been duly recorded; and the management of his plantation, 
in the words of Hubbard, " to the great credit and the satisfaction of 
the adventurers," has been commended by Smith. Such a man, in 
naming his settlement, might be inclined to seek a name which would 
illustrate not only the short history which the Colony then had, 
but the virtues of some one of its living members. He knew well, or 
would soon learn, the character of Newport, as the earliest and most 
conspicuous sailor that had been directly connected with the Colony. 
He had doubtless heard of his daring exploits in the Spanish West 
Indies, and knew all about his early voyages to Virginia. And 

less in his father's office, who was long the clerk of the House of Burgesses, and in the 
office of his brother Peter, who was also the clerk of the House, and finally its speaker, 
— and his opportunities for knowing the manners, customs, and traditions of the Colony 
were most favorable. He died in 1716. 

* John Chamberlain, Esq., writing from London to Sir Dudley Carlton, Dec. 18, 
1611, says: "Newport, the Admiral of Virginia, is newly come home, and brings word 
of the arrival there of Sir Thomas Gates and his company, but his lady died by the 
way in some part of the West Indies. He [that is Gates] hath sent his daughters back 
again, which I doubt not is a piece of prognostication that himself means not to tarry 
long." This is the latest authentic notice we remember to have seen of Captain New- 
port in connection with the colony of Virginia. He subsequently entered into another 
service, that of the East-India Company. In a letter from the Rev. Thomas Lor- 
kin to Sir Thomas Puckering, Bart., dated London, July 21, 1614, the writer says: 
" Captain Newport, who undertook the conduct of Sir Robert Shirley into Persia, hath, 
under one and the selfsame labour, made the voyage of the East Indies, and is here within 
these three or four days safely arrived, having brought a rich lading home with him, 
though the chief commodity be pepper." (" The Court and Times of James the First," 
London, 1849, vol. i., p. 154, 338.) The journal of this voyage of Newport may be 
seen in Purclms, i. 488. It is interesting to connect the name of the old Virginia 
Admiral with that of the celebrated Robert Shirley, or Sherley, whose history, with that 
of his two brothers, savors more of romance than of reality. (See Baker's Chronicle, 
London, 1670, p. 435; Retrospective Review, vol. ii. p. 351.) — Note by Mr. Deane. 


we know that Sir William Newce was Gookin's neighbor, whom he 
saw daily face to face, and with whom he was constantly engaged in 
public affairs. He -might thus be disposed to unite the names of the 
two men in a common bond ; and it must be confessed, that the baptism 
of the place by other hands than those of the persons who bore the 
name, has a more delicate significancy in the estimation of posterity, 
than if it had been performed by either one of the parties themselves. 

If it be inquired how the true name of the point should have been 
mistaken so early as three years after its deliberate baptism by New- 
port himself, and the error have continued so long, it may be answered 
conclusively, that there is no evidence that the name was not written 
correctly from the first on this side of the Atlantic, and universally 
known at that day ; and this is plainly to be inferred from the fact, 
that its true pronunciation, in spite of the discordant spellings, has 
reached our own times. But it had the misfortune of being printed, 
for the first time, in England ; and printed, too, by Smith, who spelt 
all words badly ; who always spelt the name of Newport him<elf 
incorrectly, and who spelt the name of Sir William, not Newce, as the 
knight spelt it, and as it is spelt in all our official records, but JSfuse ; # 
and who, believing, as he was bound to believe, that his own spelling 
of the word was right, might naturally enough take the Newce for 
Newes, as he spelt the latter word : f and the error, committed by one 
who was believed to be familiar with the persons and things of the 
New World, was adopted by others, whose works, all published abroad, 
were circulated in a Colony which never had a literature of its own ; 
and which, for more than a century later than the date of the name, 
could not boast of a solitary press within its borders. 

Let us hope that the united names of two such prominent men in 
our Colony, rescued at last from the dust of ages, will, like those of 
Hampden-Sidney and Randolph-Macon, now perform their proper 
office ; and that Ne wpoet-Newce will be recognized henceforth, not 

* Smith's History, ii. 77. 

f Newport and Captain Smith were hostile to each other; and Smith, in an official 
letter to the Treasurer and Council of Virginia (the London Company), treats Newport 
with great harshness. He writes, " The souldiers say many of your officers maintain 
their families out of that you sent us; and that Newport hath a hundred pounds a year 
for carying newes" (Smith, i. 202); that is, for making trouble between the settlers 
and the London Company. Newport would not have perpetuated, ten or twelve years 
after the date of that letter, and after Smith had left the Colony, an odious character 
of himself drawn by an opponent; and the magnanimity of Smith forbids the suspicion, 
that he substituted the word Newes for Newce, in the spirit of hostility to an old 


only on the deck, but in the counting-room and in the printing office, 
and even in the august court of History itself, to which it truly 
belongs. I am, my dear sir, with great respect, truly yours, 

Hugh Blair Grigsby. 

To Charles Deane, Esq., Cambridge. 

The President spoke of his intention of sailing for 
Europe on the 12th of next month; and, as the stated 
time for the next meeting of the Society falls on the day 
after he shall have sailed, he expressed a wish to have 
an opportunity of meeting the members once more 
before he took his leave of them. 

Whereupon, on motion of Professor Washburn, it 
was voted, that the next meeting of the Society be held 
on the 6th of June, one week earlier than the stated 

Mr. Deane referred to a photograph, exhibited at the 
meeting of the Society, in February, 1866, by Mr. Eliot, 
(and supposed to represent Columbus and his two sons), 
from an engraving by Wilson of a picture in one of 
the galleries in England. The photograph was sent to 
Mr. Eliot, who was desired to obtain some information 
respecting it. Mr. Deane now exhibited two volumes 
of Bryan Edwards's " History of the West Indies," in 
one of which was the engraving from which the photo- 
graph referred to had been taken. Over the picture is 
inscribed, " Christopher Columbus and his sons Diego 
and Ferdinand ; " and beneath, " From an ancient 
Spanish Picture in the possession of Edward Home, 
Esq., of Bevis Mount, near Southampton." The original 
picture is further described in a prefatory note in vol. i. 
pp. xxiii, xxiv, of Edwards's work referred to above, — 
fifth edition, London, 1819. 

1867.] JUNE MEETING. 33 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, June 6, at 11 o'clock a.m.; the President, the 
Hon. Robert C. Wtnthrop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Town 
of Bolton ; the American Numismatic and Archaeo- 
logical Society ; the New-Hampshire Historical So- 
ciety ; the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of 
Philadelphia ; the Rhode-Island Historical Society; the 
Smithsonian Institution ; the Society of Antiquaries 
of London ; the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and 
Natural History ; the Editors of the " Advocate " ; the 
Proprietors of the " Protestant Churchman " ; John 
Appleton, M.D. ; Geo. E. Chambers, Esq. ; Mr. Elbridge 
H. Goss ; Mrs. Phebe A. Hanaford ; Charles H. Hart, 
Esq. ; Rush C. Hawkins, Esq. ; William B. Orne, Esq. ; 
Henry Phillips, Jr., Esq. ; Mr. Oliver J. Rand ; John 
H. Sheppard, Esq. ; Rev. Edwin M. Stone ; Rev. Hale 
Townsend ; Col. Charles Whittlesey ; Frederic R. Wood- 
ward, Esq.; John S. Wright, Esq.; Mr. Thomas B. 
Wyman ; and from Messrs. Deane, Lawrence, Metcalf, 
C. Robbins, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

The President now spoke of his intended absence 
abroad, saying that he should ever bear the Society in 
mind, and hoped, before many months, to resume his 
duties here. 

He remarked, that, at the last meeting, our Roll of 
Resident Members was full. Since then, one name — 



that of Lucius Manlius Sargent, Esq. — had been 
stricken from it. He also referred to the death of the 
distinguished Honorary Member, Sir Archibald Alison, 
Bart, D.C.L. ; and said that he was not then prepared 
to speak at length respecting either of these deceased 
members. By the authority of the Standing Committee, 
he offered the following resolution : — 

Resolved, That the Society have heard with deep regret of the 
deatli of our Resident Member, Lucius Manlius Sargent, Esq. ; and 
that the President be requested to appoint one of our number to pre- 
pare the customary memoir for the Society's " Proceedings." 

The President appointed Dr. Shurtleff to prepare the 
memoir of Mr. Sargent for the Proceedings of the So- 

The President communicated to the Society two pedi- 
grees, — one of the family of Lucas, and one of the 
family of Hoby, — which he had received from J. J. 
Howard, Esq., of Blackheath, England, a Corresponding 

He also presented a deed — executed by Sir William 
Eorth, Kt., and Dame Dorothy, his wife, to " Sir Ed- 
ward Cooke [Coke], Kt., Lord Chief Justice of the 
Common Pleas," dated March 28, 7 Jacobi [1610] — of 
the woods, &c, called Westhaywood, belonging to the 
manor of Hitcham, Suffolk. 

The seal of Sir William Forth bears the arms of 
Forth ; and that of Dorothy, the armorial bearings 
of Gilbert, so far as they can be deciphered. 

The President also presented a copy, in bronze, of 
the " seal of the Golden Bull." A printed paper which 
accompanied it states, that " the fundamental law of the 


German Empire, known under the name of " the Golden 
Bull," was published at the diets held in the year 1356, 
at Nuremburg and Mentz, under the Emperor Charles 
IV. Its aim was to fix whatever relates to the election 
and coronation of the Emperor, the privileges of the 
Princes Electors, and other objects concerning the inte- 
rior peace of the Empire The name of Golden 

Bull was given to it on account of the golden seal (in 
Latin, bulla) affixed to it." An authentic copy of the 
Golden Bull " still exists in the archives of the free city 
of Frankfort." 

The President also presented to the Society a copy 
of the Journals of the First, Second, and Third Ses- 
sions of the Senate of the United States of America. 
In one of these volumes is this inscription : " Given to 
me by Paine Wingate, the last surviving member of the 
1st senate of the U.S., being at the time I saw him 98 
years old. Eob't C. Winthrop." 

He also gave two volumes of his accounts, as 
Speaker, of the pay and mileage of the members of the 
House of Representatives of the First and Second Ses- 
sions of the Thirtieth Congress. 

The President spoke of the death of the Hon. Elijah 
Hayward, a corresponding member of the Society, 
which had occurred some time since, and which, by an 
oversight, he had omitted to notice before. He spoke 
of a tribute which had been paid to him by our asso- 
ciate, Mr. Ellis Ames, in the Genealogical Register, 
vol. xxi., p. 86, from which we learn that he died on the 
22d of September, 1864, in his 78th year. 

A letter from Dr. Asa Millet, of Bridgewater, was 



read, presenting to the Society a small miniature, sup- 
posed by a late owner of it to be a likeness of one of the 
Governors Winslow. Dr. Millet calls attention to its 
resemblance to the pictures of Dr. Isaac Winslow. 

The thanks of the Society were ordered to Dr. Millet, 
for this gift to the Cabinet. 

Dr. Ellis, after a few remarks, referring to the Presi- 
dent's intended visit to Europe, submitted the following 
Resolution : — 

Resolved, That the President of this* Society (the Hon. Robert C. 
Winthrop), now about to sail for Europe, and our associates, the Rev. 
Samuel K. Lothrop, D.D., and Samuel A. Green, M.D., now in 
Europe, be authorized and requested, as opportunity may serve, to 
represent this Society at the Archaeological Congress to be held in 
Antwerp, in August next, or on any proper occasion during their 
residence abroad ; and that they be empowered and requested to 
negotiate for this Society any exchanges of publications with foreign 
Societies, and to act for the interest of this Society in any way they 
shall find expedient during their absence. 

This Resolution was unanimously adopted. 

The President called attention to the first part of 
the volume of Proceedings, consisting of 195 pages, 
which had been placed upon the table, and stated that 
the entire volume would probably be issued before many 

Mr. Waterston read some extracts from letters of 
Mrs. Arnold, the wife of Benedict Arnold, the traitor, 
written during her residence in England. 

Dr. Holmes read a letter which he had received from 
our associate Dr. Robbins, calling his attention to a paper 
containing a curious medical theory, which Dr. Robbins 
had noticed among some Mather papers placed in his 


hands by Mr. Winthrop. Dr. Holmes made some com- 
ments on the medical theory referred to. 

The President remarked that the Society were favored 
with the presence, at this meeting, of two Corresponding 
Members ; namely, the Hon. Hugh B. Grigsby, LL.D., of 
Virginia, and Benj. E. "Winthrop, Esq., of New York. 

He also called the attention of the Society to a large 
photograph likeness of our late esteemed associate, 
George Livermore, brought into the room that morning, 
and intended to be hung in the Dowse Library, beneath 
the picture of Mr. Everett, by Stuart. 

The President referred to the recent action of the 
Legislature relative to the three volumes of " Hutchin- 
son Papers " in the possession of the Society ; and, after 
some discussion, it was voted, that the subject of the 
claim to these papers by the Commonwealth be re- 
ferred to a special committee, consisting of the Chair- 
man of the Standing Committee, and Professors Wash- 
burn and Parker. 

Brantz Mayer, Esq., the President of the Maryland 
Historical Society, and John Bruce, F.S.A., of London, 
were elected Corresponding Members. 

Dr. Ellis again referred, to the intended absence 
abroad of the President of the Society, and said he was 
sure the President would carry with him the best wishes 
of all the members for a successful tour and for a safe 

Professor Washburn earnestly supported the remarks 
of Dr. Ellis; and the President briefly replied, with 
thanks for the kind sentiments expressed towards him. 



A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held this 
day, Thursday, July 11, at eleven o'clock; Vice-Presi- 
dent Colonel Aspinwall (in the absence of the Presi- 
dent) in the chair. 

Although there was not a quorum of members pres- 
ent, the meeting was called to order, and the Secretary 
read the proceedings of the last meeting ; after which 
the meeting was dissolved. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, August 8, at eleven o'clock a.m. ; 
Vice-President Colonel Aspinwall in the chair. 

There was not a quorum of members present ; but 
the record of the last meeting was read. 

Mr. Deane read an interesting letter from Mr. Win- 
throp, dated London, 4th July, 1867, referring to his 
speedy and pleasant passage from New York to Queens- 
town of only seven days, and of eight days to Liverpool. 
He stated that he arrived in London just in time to be 
summoned, by Mr. George Peabody, to Oxford, to wit- 
ness the Commemoration services, and to see Mr. Pea- 
body in his red gown as D.C.L. He had since been 
the round of visiting and sight-seeing. He spoke of a 


photograph of the church at Austerfield, in which Brad- 
ford worshipped, and a photograph of that part of the 
Baptismal Register which gives the name of Bradford 
and the date of his baptism. These were given him by- 
Lord Houghton, and he intended to present them to the 
Society if it did not already possess them. He also 
spoke of a portrait of Franklin by Gainsborough, on ex- 
hibition at the South-Kensington gallery, which he had 
never seen before. . He said he should procure photo- 
graphs of it to bring home. 

Mr. Deane then exhibited the photographs of the 
Austerfield church and of the Baptismal Register referred 
to, which had been presented to him last year by Lord 
Houghton's friends, — the accomplished and hospitable 
family of Mr. Charles Lowther, who now reside at 
" Bawtry Hall." 

Mr. R. Frothingham, the Treasurer, announced a be- 
quest to the Society of two thousand dollars, from the 
late Henry Harris ; and that the sum had been received 
by him from Mr. Harris's executor, Mr. Minot. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held this 
day, Thursday, September 12, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; 
Colonel Aspinwall, Vice-President, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations (for the past two 
months) from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ; 


the State of Ohio ; the State of Vermont ; the City 
of Boston ; the American Antiquarian Society ; the 
American Numismatic and Archaeological Society ; 
the American Philosophical Society; the Chamber of 
Commerce of the State of New York; the Chicago 
Historical Society ; the Essex Institute ; the Long- 
Island Historical Society ; the Massachusetts Medical 
Society ; the Mercantile-Library Association, of Boston ; 
the New-England Historic-Genealogical Society ; Ober- 
lausitzische Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Gorlitz; 
the State Historical Society of Iowa ; the Suffolk Insti- 
tute of Archaeology and Natural History ; the Trustees 
of Bowdoin College ; the Proprietors of the " Heraldic 
Journal " ; the Editors of the " Advocate " ; the Union 
Congressional Committee ; John Appleton, M.D. ; Wil- 
liam S. Appleton, Esq. ; Mr. George Arnold ; Erancis 
C. Barlow, Esq., the Secretary of State of New Yerk ; 
Rev. Caleb D. Bradlee ; Mr. William G. Brooks, Jr. ; 
Austin J. Coolidge, Esq. ; Mr. Edward S. Coombs ; 
Charles Drowne, Esq. ; John H. Ellis, Esq. ; Rev. S. 
Hopkins Emery; Professor Daniel C. Gilman ; William 
E. Goodwin, Esq. ; Clement H. Hill, Esq. ; Franklin B. 
Hough, M.D. ; Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; Professor 
John Johnston ; Mr. James S. Loring ; Mr. John LovelL, 
of Montreal ; -Hon. George Lunt ; Selden E. Marvin, 
the Adjutant-General of New York ; Joel Munsell,. 
Esq. ; Messrs. Band and Avery ; Messrs. Sidney S. 
Bider and Brother ; Thomas E. Sawin, Esq. ; Rev. 
Edwin M. Stone ; J. Hammond Trumbull, Esq. ; Hon. 
Henry Wilson ; and from Messrs. Brigham, C. Brooks, 
W. G. Brooks, Deane, Denny, Ellis, Green, Hoar, 


Latham, Lawrence, S. Lincoln, Metcalf, Parkman, C. 
Bobbins, Wheatland, Whitmore, and Winthrop, of the 

The chairman called the attention of members to a 
nnmber of volumes upon the table, which had been 
presented by Mr. John Lovell, a bookseller and pub- 
lisher in Montreal, through Mr. George Arnold, an 
assistant in the Library of this Society. 

Voted, that the thanks of the Society be returned to 
Mr. Lovell for this valuable donation to the Library. 

Theodore D. Woolsey, President of Yale College, was 
elected a Corresponding Member. 

Dr. Ellis read some extracts from a letter he had 
received from the President, Mr. Winthrop, dated from 
Munich and Zurich, the last date being August 20, 1867, 
in which he described a visit to the celebrated foundry 
at Munich, and spoke of some of the statues of dis- 
tinguished men which he saw there. 

Mr. Deane read the following paper, written by Dr. 
John Appleton, the Assistant Librarian, on the picture 
in the Society's Cabinet, usually called the portrait of 
the Rev. John Wilson, clearly showing that it ought not 
to be so regarded. 

Alleged Portrait of the Rev. John Wilson, with some notices of other 

early portraits. 

Among the portraits of distinguished New-England clergy- 
men in the collection of the Society, is one which has 
generally been considered as an original of John Wilson, 
the first teacher, and afterwards pastor, of the Church in 
Boston ; but certain circumstances tend to discredit the 


authenticity of this painting as the effigies of that eminent 

The picture is apparently not of a date corresponding with 
the lifetime of Wilson, but must rather be referred to the 
latter part of the seventeenth century. It represents a cler- 
gyman, somewhat advanced in life, the features generally of a 
feminine character, and the countenance indicating ill-health. 
He wears what is apparently a periwig, of dark brown hair, 
and is clad in " canonicals," or the gown and bands in which 
the English clergy of that period are generally represented. 
It may be remarked, that in authentic portraits of the min- 
isters of New England, contemporary with Wilson, which 
have come down to us, as those of Richard Mather, John 
Davenport, and others (among which I do not include that 
supposed by some to represent John Cotton), the subjects 
are generally painted in a dress not unlike the ordinary cos- 
tume of laymen of that age, without any distinctive mark 
of the clerical profession ; and it seems hardly probable that 
the portrait of Wilson would have been an exception to this 

The picture has apparently been carefully restored within 
a few years, and transferred to new canvas ; but no vestige 
of any date or inscription, indicating the name of the artist 
or of the person represented, can be discovered on any part 
of the painting. 

The portrait was presented to the Society by the late 
Henry Bromfield, Esq., and is said to have belonged to 
Edward Bromfield, who married a grand-daughter of Wilson. 
The painter appears to have been of more than ordinary 

The personal appearance of Wilson is differently represented 
by his biographers. Johnson, in his " Wonder-working Provi- 
dence,'' speaks of his aspect as that of a " weak, sorry man." 
Dr. Eliot, in his " New-England Biographical Dictionary,' 7 
says, that on his arrival in this country, he " had a large share 


of health and vigor." The Rev. A. W. McClure, in a notice 
of this reputed portrait of Wilson,* inclines to the belief that, 
from its cadaverous aspect, it was painted after his decease ; 
but, if this be the fact, it was probably not executed until 
many years after that date, and cannot therefore be relied on 
as a likeness. 

Cotton Mather, in his " Johannes in Eremo," published in 
1695, asserts directly that Wilson would never consent to 
have his portrait painted. In the work just mentioned, in the 
part entitled " Memoria Wilsoniana" the author says, " But 
from the like Humility it was, that a good kinsman of his, 
who deserves to live in the same story, as he now lives in 
the same Heaven with him, namely, Mr. Edivard Baivson, the 
Honoured Secretary of the Massachusett Colony, could not, 
by all his Intreaties perswade him to let his Picture be 
drawn ; but still refusing it, he would reply, What ! such a 
poor, vile Creature as I am ! Shall my Picture be drawn ? I 
say, No ; it never shall ! And when that Gentleman intro- 
duced the Limner, with all things ready, vehemently impor- 
tuning him to gratifie so far the Desires of his Friends, as to 
sit a while, for the taking of his Effigies, no Importunity 
could ever obtain it for him. However, being bound in Jus- 
tice to employ my Hand, for the Memory of that Person, by 
whose Hand I was my self baptised, I have made an Essay 
to draw his Picture, by this Account of his Life." f 

The Quaker, John Whiting, fh his " Truth and Innocency 
Defended," in answer to Mather, and in one of his bitter 
invectives against " Priest Wilson," alludes to this state- 
ment concerning him ; " whom," Whiting says, " he [Mather] 
commends so much, and in particular, that he would never 
suffer his Picture to be drawn (perhaps, lest he should re- 
semble bloody Bonner, as much in his Features as in his 
Mind), which, however is pretty well drawn in the former 

* " Lives of the Chief Fathers of New England," vol. ii. p. 171., 
f Johannes in Eremo, p. 41. 


book, and somewhat touched here, that, like Hercules, by his 
Foot any may judge of the Proportion of his Body." * 

Without raising the question of the general accuracy of 
Cotton Mather's historical statements, we must suppose, that, 
had an original portrait of Wilson been extant in Boston in 
1695, less than thirty years after his death, it must have 
been generally known in the town, and to Mather. Nor is it 
probable that, seven years after, at the date of the publication 
of his " Magnalia," the author would have repeated the state- 
ment, without correction or qualification, while he was on 
intimate terms with Edward Bromfield, to whom the portrait 
in question is said to have belonged ; and at whose house 
Mather must often have seen it, had it been in the possession 
of his friend. 

An incorrect engraved copy of the picture has been exe- 
cuted for Drake's " History of Boston," as the portrait of 

If the painting cannot be properly considered an authentic 
portrait of the first minister of Boston, the question may be 
asked, Who was the original of this portrait, so long in the 
possession of the Bromfield family, and associated by tradition 
with the name of Wilson ? I fear that this query must, for 
the present, remain unanswered. From its having been pre- 
served for so many years by this family, there would seem to 
be a possibility of its being the portrait of the Rev. Samuel 
Danforth, of Roxbury, the son-in-law of Wilson ; or, more 
probably, that of his son Samuel, of Taunton, whose sister 
was the wife of Edward Bromfield. But I have little doubt 
that the picture was painted in Europe. 

The resemblance of the features to those of some mem- 
bers of the Mather family, with other circumstances, had at 
one time almost led me to hazard the suggestion, that it might 
be the portrait of Nathaniel Mather, of Dublin (the third son 

* pp. 79, 80. 


of Richard), sent by him to his brother Increase, in 168g; 
but certain remarks in his letters, contained in the Mather 
Papers, belonging to the New-England Library, and now in 
the course of publication by this Society, lead me to a dif- 
ferent conclusion. 

By a curious coincidence, it would appear that a painting 
in the gallery of the American Antiquarian Society, which 
was exhibited at the National Sailors' Fair in this city, in 
1864, as a portrait of Samuel Mather, the elder brother and 
predecessor of Nathaniel at Dublin,* probably represents 
some other member of the family ; and may possibly be the 
missing portrait of Nathaniel, painted in 1682, and sent as a 
present to his brother Increase, in the autumn of that year. 
It appears also from the statement of Nathaniel Mather, not 
many years after the death of Samuel, that no portrait of the 
latter was ever painted during his life. 

In a letter without date, but probably written in 1679, in 
reply to a request of Increase Mather for the portraits of his 

* The following letter from Samuel F. Haven, Esq., Librarian of the American Anti- 
quarian Society, gives a full description of the portrait referred to, hitherto supposed to 
be that of Samuel Mather: — 

American Antiquarian Society, 
Worcester, Mass., Aug. 17, 1865. 
My Dear Sir, — Returning home, after an absence of several weeks, I find your 
letter of Aug. 3 on my table. The portrait to which you refer is one of the series that 
came to this Society from Mrs. Hannah Mather Crocker. It was re-lined some twenty- 
five years ago, and if there was any writing on the back (which I think could not have 
been the case, or it would have been preserved), it has been covered. I know of no 
other authority than tradition for regarding it as the portrait of the Rev. Samuel Mather 
of Dublin. It represents a man about forty years of age, with a fresh, oval face, rather 
long than otherwise, and a white horsehair wig. He has no beard. The motto " Vivere 
est cogitare " is painted in prominent letters on the right side of the picture, in a line 
with the chin. 

The face is a manly and healthy one, not particularly intellectual in expression, yet 
intelligent. There are bands on the neck. The dress of the figure is not very distin- 

I do not remember to have seen a portrait of Nathaniel Mather, and do not know 
where one may be found. 

Yours very truly, S. F. Haven. 

Dr. John Appleton. 


brothers Samuel and Nathaniel, the surviving brother in 
Dublin writes, " My- brother Samuel's picture is not to be 
had. It was never taken, that I can hear of, during his life ; 
neither is mine, and therefore I know not how to send you 
either of them." 

Under date of March 2, 1680-81, after mentioning the 
receipt of the portrait of Increase, sent by him from Boston, 
Nathaniel Mather continues, " I cannot yet send you my pic- 
ture as you desire. I cannot hear of any artist in this city that 
can do it well, except one ; but he is too dear, not taking less 
than ten pounds, which is more than I am able to bestow on 
such an account. If I can hear of any that will do it on toler- 
able terms, I will, to gratify you, get it done for you." 

On the 9th of May, 1682, he writes, " I must goe out, 
partly to sit for the drawing of my picture for you." 

In the summer of this year, Nathaniel Mather was pros- 
trated by a severe attack of disease ; and during his conva- 
lescence he writes, (under date of July 8th,) " I got my 
picture for you just before this illness took me. But it needs 
mending, the hair being too gray, and the face too fat for 
mine. If God gives me health, I shall get it done, and then 
it will be ready for you." 

At length, on the 7th of November of the same year, he 
writes to his brother, " You will receive by this vessel, Mr. 
Britton, my picture. I think it is well done, and they that 
have seen it say it is ; and you will say it had need to 
be well done, for it cost me three guineas, that is, 3" 9 s . be- 
sides the case and the frame. Such as it is, you are welcome 
to it." 

It is to be noticed, that this portrait of Nathaniel Mather 
is not described as such, among the Mather portraits in the 
collection of the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, 
nor have I been informed that it is in the possession of any 
person connected with the family. It is possible that the 
portrait described as that of Samuel Mather may be the " vera 
effigies " of Nathaniel, referred to in the correspondence. 


The fact seems to be conclusively established, that there 
was some one exercising the art of a " limner " in Boston 
before 1667, as appears from Cotton Mather's statement in 
relation to Wilson. 

The portrait of Dr. John Clark, now in the Cabinet of this 
Society, has inscribed upon it his age when it was taken, 
viz., " A° JEtatis Svse, 66, Ann. Suo." Clark died in 1664, and 
appears to have resided in Boston for many years before that 

Increase Mather's portrait was painted in Boston, in 1679 
or 1680, and was sent by him to his brother Nathaniel, in 
Dublin, as is stated in their correspondence. 

The full-length portraits of Henry Gibbs (afterwards min- 
ister of Watertown), and of Margaret, his sister, children of 
Robert Gibbs of Boston, are still extant, and have inscribed 
upon them the ages, respectively, of the children, viz. one and 
a half and seven years, with the date (1670) of the painting. 
The correspondence of the inscription with their age at this 
time sufficiently establishes their identity, as does the fact 
that they have remained in the possession of the descendants 
of Henry Gibbs to the present time. These portraits must 
have been painted in Boston. 

Other facts might be brought forward, corroborative of the 
evidence we have that there were artists resident in New 
England many years before the earliest works of Peter Pel- 
ham, in America, were produced. 

In March, 1684 (to refer again to the Mather Papers), 
Nathaniel Mather writes to his brother Increase, as follows : 
" This I send by M r . Joseph Allen. . . . He was bound pren- 
tice to an ironmonger, but hath so strong a naturall byass to 
ingenious handicrafts that hee is thereby mastered, & indeed 
so wholly carryed, that hee cannot thrive at buying & selling, 
but excells in those other things, & thence hath acquired 
good skill in watchmaking, clockmaking, graving, limning; 
[&] that by his owne ingenuity & industry chiefly, for he 


served an apprentiship faythfully to another trade. His 
design in comeing to New England is that hee bee under a 
necessity of earning his bread by practising his skill in some 
of those things." 

This letter of introduction was evidently delivered to 
Mather. I have seen no certain account of the residence 
of this Joseph Allen in Boston. A person of the same name 
was one of the " undertakers/' at the formation of Brattle- 
Street Church, in 1698; but I have not been able to deter- 
mine his occupation. It is very probable, however, that the 
young man who emigrated from Dublin did exercise his art 
of "limning" in Boston, as well as the other accomplishments 
which his ingenuity had led him to acquire. 

Professor Washburn, referring to a discussion before 
this Society, some time since, as to whether many of the 
aged persons called " centenarians " can really be re- 
garded as having lived to that extreme age, mentioned 
the case of an old man then living in Leicester, in this 
State, by the name of Piper, well known to be one hun- 
dred and four years old. 

Mr. Paige also spoke of an aged woman, the grand- 
mother of Mr. James W. Paige of this city, who died 
some years since, at the age of one hundred and two 

Dr. Ellis expressed the hope, that the Society would 
be able at each meeting this winter to secure a paper 
from a member on some interesting historical subject. 
There was one theme which he suggested as worthy of 
attention, — a subject forming a part of our own history, 
— which he felt had not yet been properly treated ; and 
he was almost tempted to undertake it himself if no one 
else would. lie referred to the original purpose of our 


Puritan forefathers in coming to this wilderness. Dr. 
Ellis indicated his views upon this interesting portion 
of our history ; and, at the close of his remarks, a wish 
was expressed that he would pursue the subject, and 
write out his views in full. 

Mr. Folsom spoke of a brief journal of an expedition 
to " Crown Point," in 1775, written by Captain Nathaniel 
Folsom, which he had had the privilege of inspecting, 
and which he hoped to exhibit at the next meeting. 

Dr. Ellis read a letter from Judge Thomas, saying 
that the Memoir of Judge Shaw, which had been 
assigned to him by the Society, was written; and he 
asked the privilege of publishing it first in the " Ameri- 
can Law Review," when he would enlarge it for the 
Proceedings of the Society. 

Voted, that the request of Judge Thomas be granted. 






Lemuel Shaw was born in Barnstable, Mass., on the 9th of 
January, 1781, within three months from the time when the 
Constitution and frame of government, under which his life 
was to be spent, and which his judicial labors were to illus- 
trate, went into operation. His father and grandfather were 
clergymen. His grandfather, John Shaw, the minister of 
Bridgewater, educated four sons at Harvard College, all of 
whom became Congregational ministers. Of these, the Rev. 
Oakes Shaw, the father of Lemuel, was settled in the West 
Parish in Barnstable, in 1760, and continued in the pastorate 
till his death in 1807. That he was faithful to his people, 
and that they loved and honored him, this long connection 
would show ; though we are not to forget, that pastors were 
not then settled on horseback, with a view to early removal, 
and that " Providence " did not then so often call rising young 
ministers from small rural parishes to opulent city ones. 

The son always spoke of his father with the highest vener- 
ation and respect ; never without emotion. At the centennial 
celebration at Barnstable in 1839, more than thirty years 


after his father's death, he thus touched upon a subject always 
near to his heart : — 

" Almost within sight of the place where we are, still stands a mod- 
est spire, marking the spot where a beloved father stood to minister 
the holy word of truth and hope and salvation to a numerous, beloved, 
and attached people, for almost half a century. Pious, pure, simple- 
hearted, devoted to and beloved by his people, never shall I cease to 
venerate his memory, or to love those who knew and loved him. I 
speak in the presence of some who knew him, and of many more who, 
I doubt not, were taught to love and honor his memory, as one of the 
earliest lessons of their childhood." 

The mother of Mr. Shaw, was Susannah Hay ward, of Brain- 
tree. She was the siste.r of Dr. Lemuel Hay ward, an emi- 
nent physician of Boston, from whom her son was named. 
Mrs. Shaw was a woman of vigorous powers, mental and 
physical. She lived to see and enjoy the success and honors 
of her son; dying under his roof in 1836, at the extreme age 
of ninety-four. How much of our history is crowded into 
that life, — the " Seven Years' War; " the War of Separation 
and Independence ; the struggle for national unity, for com- 
mercial freedom; the birth and maturing to manhood of a 
great nation ! 

Lemuel was fitted for college in part by his father, and 
partly at Braintree. In 1796, at the age of fifteen, he en- 
tered the Freshman Class at Cambridge. During the winter 
vacations of the last three years, to help pay the college bills 
and relieve his father, he kept a district school. In the way 
of discipline and preparation for active life, we doubt not 
those winter vacations were worth more than any part of the 
college course. Indeed, no man thoroughly understands 
New-England life and manners who has not kept a district 
school and " boarded round." 

The Class of 1800 had in it three, at least, marked men: 
Washington Allston, the painter-poet ; the eloquent and saintly 


Buckminster; and Lemuel Shaw. Other eminent men were 
President Bates, of Middlebury College ; the Rev. Dr. Lowell ; 
and Timothy Flint, whose letters from the valley of the Missis- 
sippi charmed everybody, forty years ago. Lemuel held a 
good rank in his class, and at commencement took part in 
a Greek dialogue with Timothy Flint. 

Upon leaving College, Mr. Shaw was, for a year, usher in 
the Franklin, now Brimmer, School, in Boston. During the 
same year, he was a writer, or assistant editor, for the " Bos- 
ton Gazette." The " Gazette " was an ardent supporter of 
the Federal party and politics. At this time the paper had 
several able contributors, — Robert Treat Paine, Jr., author of 
" Adams and Liberty," who wrote the dramatic articles and 
criticisms ; Thomas 0. Selfridge, soon to acquire so unhappy 
a distinction : David Everett, then at the bar, but afterwards 
first editor of the " Boston Patriot ; " and, above all, Fisher 

At the end of the year, Mr. Shaw commenced the study of 

the law with David Everett. Mr. Everett was a scholar and 

writer. He wrote Phi-Beta poems, dramas, essays political and 

literary ; and on the fulfilment of the Prophecies, in which 

he assumes to prove, that the United States were distinctly 

alluded to by Daniel and St. John ; and, more than all, he 

wrote the well-known poem, — 

" You'd scarce expect one of my age 
To speak in public on the stage." 

Mr. Everett removed from Boston to Amherst, N.H. ; and 
his student, Mr. Shaw, went with him, and there completed 
his term of study. Mr. Everett, who had been at the bar 
but two or three years when Lemuel entered his office, seems 
to have devoted himself to the study of almost every thing 
but the law. He soon after left the profession for more con- 
genial pursuits, though, we believe, not more successful. 

With what diligence Mr. Shaw pursued his studies under 
Mr. Everett, we cannot affirm; but, either then or at a later 


period, he must have studied the larw as a science, carefully 
and thorough!} 7 . He had that familiarity with and wide com- 
prehension of the principles of the law, and that facility and 
ease in their application, which come from patient and syste- 
matic study, and are seldom or never the result of practice 
only, studying for the case, cramming for the emergency. ' 

Mr. Shaw was admitted to the bar of New Hampshire in 
September, 1804, and, in the following October, at a term of 
the Supreme Court at Plymouth, as an attorney in this Com- 
monwealth. So great have been the legal products of New 
Hampshire, and her contributions to the bar of Massachusetts 
(Webster, Mason, Fletcher, Parker), and so large our debt, 
that we cannot afford to give her any credit for Lemuel 
Shaw. He was but a pilgrim and sojourner in that cradle- 
land of great lawyers. 

The cases decided at the October term of Plymouth and 
Barnstable, 1804, are found in the first volume of the Massa- 
chusetts Reports. So that the professional life of Mr. Shaw 
begins with the system by which consistency, harmony, and 
symmetry were to be given to the then shapeless mass of our 
common law, — a work to which his labors were so largely to 

Mr. Shaw settled in Boston. He had an office in the old 
State House with Thomas 0. Selfridge. Whether there was 
a partnership, we do not understand. He testified at the 
trial, that he had an office with him. And that was his ex- 
pression to the writer. After his trial and acquittal, Mr. Sel- 
fridge removed to New York, and the connection, if there 
was any, was dissolved. 

Mr. Shaw did not find his way readily to large practice, or 
rise rapidly to distinction. But this was very far from being 
a misfortune. An early plunge into business would have 
made him a ready man ; but time and opportunity for study, 
wisely improved, made him a full one. The qualities that 
readily attract business do not always secure and retain it. 


If Mr. Shaw's progress was slow, every step was on solid 
ground. There was no slumping, no falling back. This was 
the secret of his success : if he had work to do, he did it as 
well and thoroughly as he could, and thus prepared himself 
to do the next better. 

The first case in which his name appears in the reports is 
Young v. Adams, 6 Mass. 162 (1810). The amount involved 
was five dollars. The case was this : A note was payable in 
foreign bills. The promisor paid it, and the note was given 
up ; but one of the bills given in payment was a counterfeit 
bill. The payee brought his action for the amount of the 
counterfeit note. Mr. Shaw put his defence on two grounds ; 
first, that an action for money had and received would not lie; 
and, secondly, — the ground on which he principally relied, — 
that where there was no fraud and no express undertaking, and 
both the parties were equally innocent, no action would lie. 
The court, by Mr. Justice Sewall, said, " the two questions 
had been fully and ingeniously argued " by defendant's coun- 
sel, and, we hardly need to add, decided for the plaintiff. This 
was a small beginning ; but perhaps the future Chief-Justice 
recalled the encouraging lines of Master Everett, — 

" Large streams from little fountains flow ; 
Tall oaks from little acorns grow." 

Mr. Shaw gave himself faithfully to the study and work 
of his profession, but not to the entire exclusion of other 
studies. A man cannot be a great lawyer who is nothing else. 
Exclusive devotion to the study and practice of the law 
tends to acumen rather than breadth, to subtlety rather than 
strength. The air is thin among the apices of the law, as on 
the granite needles of the Alps. Men must find refreshment 
and strength in the quiet valleys at their feet. For the com- 
prehensive grasp of principles, for the faculty of applying 
and illustrating them ; for the power to reach just conclu- 
sions, and to lead other minds to them, breadth of culture is 
necessary. Some other things are to be studied beside the 
reports and text-books. 


The Law is not " a jealous mistress ; " she is a very sen- 
sible mistress. She expects you to keep regular hours ; but 
an evening with the Muses or the Graces does not awake her 
ire. The mind requires not only diversity of discipline, but 
generosity of diet. It cannot grow to full, well-rounded pro- 
portions on any one aliment. Mr. Shaw understood this, and 
read and studied and observed much outside of Coke and 

He did not, we think, keep up his intimacy with the Greek 
and Latin. He could not have written a Greek dialogue as 
well at fifty as at nineteen. But he was at home with the 
English classics, and a master of the English tongue. He 
liked the elder English novelists and satirists, — Swift, De 
Foe, Fielding, and Smollett. 

He was a student and admirer of Hogarth, and used to call 
our attention to minute details of his pictures, showing the 
artist's nice touch and the student's careful eye. 

He was a close observer of nature, — of the trees of the 
forest, and of the wild flowers and their haunts. He had a 
strong taste and love of mechanics and of the mechanic arts. 
A new machine was a delight to him, and after court he must 
go down to the machine shop or manufactory to see it in 

He took great interest in the affairs of the town, the then 
town of Boston; was fire warden, school committee-man, 
Fourth of July orator, and, for several years, one of the 

He had a strong interest in the affairs of the State ; was 
for eight years a Representative from the town of Boston in 
the General Court ; and for three or four years Senator from 

He was an ardent Federalist, and a firm supporter of the 
Federal policy, State and National, from the beginning of 
the century to the dissolution of the party ; and, what is to 
his credit, he never apologized for it, in public or private. 


But he had too catholic a spirit for a mere partisan. He was 
a working member of the Legislature, giving his time to the 
service of the Commonwealth in useful and practical legisla- 
tion. We know of no training and experience for the young 
lawyer better than two or three winters in a State Legisla- 
ture ; provided he goes there to study and to work, and 
not merely to dabble in party politics or make " hifalutin " 

Of the practical and useful character of Mr. Shaw's work 
one or two illustrations may be given. While a member of 
the Senate, he was chairman of the joint committee to whom 
was referred the petition for a city charter for the town of 
Boston. He drew up the charter and plan of city govern- 
ment. This was then a new work, and required not only 
familiarity with the working of our town governments, but 
foresight and constructive skill. The work was well done, 
and eminently successful in practical operation. Mr. Shaw 
always took a deep interest in the working of the new system 
of government, and in the general progress and welfare of the 

While a member of the House, he was appointed one 
of the commissioners to publish a new and revised edition of 
the General Laws of the Commonwealth. His associate in the 
commission was Professor Asahel Stearns, of Cambridge. 
How thoroughly well and faithfully this work was done, the 
older members of the profession have reason to gratefully 
recollect. This edition was in exclusive use from 1820 to 
the general revision of the Statutes in 1836, and is still indis- 
pensable for reference. 

These details may, we fear, be uninteresting; but the 
labors of Mr. Shaw as School Committee-man, Selectman, Rep- 

* He was, in a sense, conditor urbis. His large services to the city and to the 
Commonwealth, of which the city is the head, fairly claim some memorial of her 
respect and gratitude. Would it not be a graceful thing for the city to place a 
duplicate of Hunt's great picture of the Chief-Justice in Faneuil Hall ? 


resentative, Senator, in editing the statutes and framing the city 
charter, make up part of the discipline, training, and experi- 
ence of the great magistrate. He obviously is not the great 
judge who has studied law only as a science and in the books, 
but who has also seen and felt how it works in the every-day 
business of life. The province of the judge is to find and 
apply to the varied exigencies of life and business, not an 
abstract, but the practical, working rule. The skill and dis- 
cretion and tact requisite to do this well, are the fruit of 
business training got either upon the bench or before one 
gets there. Hence it is that some labor at nisi prius, — the 
putting the rules of law into harness, and seeing just how they 
draw, seems to be indispensable, not merely to the making, 
but to the preservation, of a good judge. A court without 
experience in trials, gets to be practically, as well as techni- 
cally, a court of errors. 

In the Convention of 1820, to revise the Constitution of the 
Commonwealth, Mr. Shaw was a delegate from the town of 

The separation of the District of Maine from Massachusetts, 
and its admission into the Union as an independent State, 
seemed to render such revision necessary. The Convention 
was unquestionably the ablest body of men that ever assem- 
bled in the State. It was in constant session some eight 
weeks. The old Constitution had been adopted in the midst of 
the Revolution, and had been in operation for forty years. It 
is marvellous to see how slight the changes that were made : 
so wisely and firmly had the men of 1780 builded, that little 
modification or repair of their structure was required. It 
reflects the highest honor upon the men of 1780, that their 
work needed so little change; and upon the men of 1820, 
that they had the sense to see it, and to let well alone. 
Some tolerably sensible men think, that most of the changes 
since adopted tend to show the wise forbearance of the Con- 
vention of 1820. 


The fact is, that even the Convention of 1780 had but few- 
structural changes to make, when the Province of Massachu- 
setts Bay became an independent Commonwealth. There 
was the agony of birth and separation ; but the child was 
fully grown. States do grow; they are not built up with 
hammer and trowel, much less with " the stuff that dreams 
are made of." 

Mr. Shaw took a less active part in the labors and debates 
of the Convention than we should have anticipated from his 
fitness for such work. When he addressed the Convention, 
it was upon practical subjects, — briefly, forcibly, and to the 
point. He spoke against a proposed amendment to make 
the stockholders of banks personally liable ; in favor of the 
amendment giving authority to the Legislature to establish 
city governments ; in favor of an amendment requiring a 
vote of two-thirds of each branch of the Legislature to re- 
move a judge from office by address ; against an amendment 
of the Bill of Rights, which should give to a prisoner a right 
to be heard both by himself and counsel, — a right, by the 
way, which has always been practically enjoyed by prisoners 
in this State, and which we have never known our courts to 

It was while Mr. Shaw was a member of the House of Rep- 
resentatives of 1820-21, that the impeachment and trial of 
Judge Prescott took place. An admirable report of this trial 
was made by two then young but accomplished members of 
the bar. The trial, before the Senate of the Commonwealth, 
excited great attention, and was conducted with eminent 
ability on both sides. Judge Prescott was defended by an 
array of talent seldom enlisted in any cause, — Webster, 
Prescott, Blake, Hoar, and Hubbard. The House had many 
eminent lawyers among its members, and King, Lincoln, 
Baylies, Dutton, Fay, Shaw, and Leland were elected man- 
agers. The judge was impeached for maladministration in 
his office of Judge of Probate, by the taking of illegal fees. 


Mr. Shaw was engaged throughout the trial, and argued the 
cause for the prosecution, in immediate reply to Mr. Web- 
ster's argument for the defence. The argument of Mr. 
Webster is among his collected works, and is familiar to the 
profession and to general readers. Mr. Webster had con- 
ducted the defence with great vigor, but defiantly, and with 
less discretion than marked his later efforts. The close of 
Mr. Webster's address has been often cited and recited, as a 
happy specimen of his eloquence. It made an impression 
upon the Senate : it would have made a deeper one upon a 
jury. We think the argument of Mr. Shaw may be read im- 
mediately after that of Mr. Webster, without feeling that 
there is any descent. It has not the rhetoric of Mr. Web- 
ster, — eloquence, if that is the better word ; but it is robust, 
manly sense, in clear, vigorous English. Its tone and temper 
are judicial, as became the speaker's position. As this is, we 
believe, the only well-reported argument of Mr. Shaw while 
at the bar, we are tempted to cite a short passage at the 
opening, and a few sentences at the close, to show his style 
and manner: — 

" Mr. President, — In common with the honorable managers with 
whom I am associated, I trust that I am sufficiently impressed with the 
magnitude and importance of the transaction in which we are now 
engaged. I am well aware of the dignity of the high tribunal before 
which I stand ; of the duty of the constitutional accusers by whom 
this prosecution is instituted; of the elevated personal and official 
character of the accused ; of the nature of the offences imputed to him ; 
and the deep and intense interest which is felt by the community in 
the result of this trial. It is perhaps true, that these transactions may 
be recorded and remembered ; that the principles advanced, and the 
decisions made, in the course of this trial, will continue to exert an 
influence on society, either salutary or pernicious, long after all those 
of us who, either as judges or as actors, have a share in these pro- 
ceedings shall be slumbering with our fathers. And yet I do not 
know that these considerations, serious and affecting as they certainly 
are, can afford any precise or practical rule, either for the conduct or 


decision of this cause. In questions of policy and expediency, there 
is a latitude of choice ; and the same end may be pursued by different 
means. But in the administration of justice, in questions of judicial 
controversy, there can be but one right rule. Whether, therefore, the 
parties are high or low; whether the subject in controversy be of 
great or of little importance, — the same principles of law, the same 
rules of evidence, the same regard to rigid and exact justice, must 
guide and govern the decision. ' Thou shalt do no unrighteousness in 
judgment ; thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the 
person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy 
neighbor,' — is an injunction delivered upon the highest authority, and 
enforced by the most solemn of all sanctions. 

" Nor am I aware that powerful and animated appeals to your com- 
passion or resentment can have any considerable or lasting influence. 
They may, indeed, afford opportunity for the display of genius and 
eloquence, excite a momentary feeling of sympathy and admiration, 
and awake and command attention. Beyond this, their influence would 
be pernicious and deplorable. If the charges brought against the 
respondent are satisfactorily proved, justice — that justice due to the 
violated rights of an injured community ; that justice deserved by the 
breach of the most sacred obligations — demands a conviction, from 
which no considerations of compassion can or ought to shield him. 
On the contrary, if these charges are not substantiated, or do not 
import criminality, no feelings of resentment, no prepossessions of 
guilt, however thoroughly impressed, can prevent his acquittal." 

Mr. Shaw thus closed his address : — 

" Notwithstanding the length to which these remarks have extended, 
I am sensible that I have taken but an imperfect view of the details of 
this long and complicated case. But I address myself to experienced 
men, to intelligent judges, capable of estimating the qualities of con- 
duct, and appreciating the force of evidence. We have no earnest 
invocation to make to the Judges of this honorable court, except that 
they will examine the case, now submitted to them, without fear, favor, 
affection, prejudice, or partiality ; and pronounce their decision, not 
according to the momentary impulses of sympathy and compassion, 
but upon the invariable dictates of judgment and reason. If sensibility 
should usurp the seat of justice, and take the place of the understand- 
ing and judgment, laws would be unavailing, and all civil and social 
rights become fluctuating and uncertain. Justice might throw away 


her balance, for it would be useless ; and her sword, for it would be 
mischievous. If punishment and disgrace are to overtake the respon- 
dent, it is because punishment and disgrace are the natural, the neces- 
sary, and the inevitable consequences of turpitude and crime. The 
representatives of the people of this Commonwealth demand at your 
hands no sacrifice of innocence : they ask. for no victim to their re- 
sentment ; for they have none to gratify. If, applying the evidence to 
the law in this case, this court can, consistently with the conclusions of 
enlightened and inflexible judgment, pronounce the respondent innocent, 
these representatives will rejoice to find, that the reputation of this 
Commonwealth still remains pure and unspotted. But if their conclu- 
sions should be otherwise ; if this court is satisfied that the respondent 
has abused the powers entrusted to him, disregarded the rights of 
others, and violated his high official duties, — the representatives of 
the people do earnestly hope, and confidently trust, that this high court, 
disregarding all consequences personal to the respondent, will pro- 
nounce such judgment on his conduct as will prove a salutary exam- 
ple to all others in authority, vindicate the honor and secure the rights 
of this Commonwealth, and enable them to transmit to posterity that 
unblemished reputation for purity, honesty, and integrity, in the admin- 
istration of justice, which has hitherto been the.ornament and glory of 

Mr. Shaw was in practice twenty-six years. He occasion- 
ally went into the other counties, but his business was chiefly 
confined to the Boston courts. He worked alone, with brief 
exception, for the first sixteen years, and then took into part- 
nership Mr. Sydney Bartlett, who had been his student, and 
who is now so well known to the bar of the Commonwealth 
and in the Supreme Court at Washington. 

Mr. Shaw travelled but little, was fond of home, but en- 
joyed greatly the meetings of the clubs of which he was a 
member, and other social gatherings. Pleasure was given as 
well as received. He had fine social qualities, large conver- 
sational powers and a fund of humor and quiet mirth. 

He was twice married. His first marriage, at the some- 
what mature age of thirty-seven, was with Eliza, a daughter 
of Josiah Knapp, Esq., a merchant of Boston. By her he 


had two children, — a son and daughter. His second mar- 
riage was in 1827, with Hope, a daughter of Dr. Samuel 
Savage, of Barnstable, by whom he had two sons, Lemuel and 
Samuel, both members of the bar in Boston. Home was 
always a happy place to him ; and he never was more attrac- 
tive and delightful than at his own fireside. 

Though he kept up his interest in public affairs, and was 
willing to go to the Legislature, he refused to go to Congress. 

He wrote occasionally for the press, but on legal or con- 
stitutional questions. The article, for example, in the " North- 
American Review " for January, 1820, on " Slavery and the 
Missouri Question," which attracted much attention at the 
time, was from his pen. It is an able exposition of the ma- 
lign character and the effects of slavery, social and political ; 
resists its further progress ; insists upon making, as a condi- 
tion of the admission of Missouri, the provision, that slavery 
shall for ever be prohibited within it; and argues at length 
and with great ability, — we do not say conclusively, — that 
such a condition would have the force of compact, from which 
the State, after its admission, could not absolve itself. The 
convictions then expressed, as to the influence of slavery, 
social, economical, and political, and the duty of the North to 
oppose and resist its extension, were, we have reason to 
believe, never modified. 

He also wrote an article in the " American Jurist " of Jan- 
uary, 1829, in which he criticises and shows the unsound- 
ness of the doctrine (a nod of Homer) stated by Chief-Jus- 
tice Parsons, in Storer v. Freeman, 6 Mass. 438, that the 
colony laws and ordinances were annulled with the annulling 
of the charter under the authority of which they were made. 

In this quarter of a century at the bar, Mr. Shaw built up 
a solid professional reputation, and acquired a valuable prac- 
tice ; not a great many cases, but important and leading 
causes, like Oharles^Biver Bridge v. Warren Bridge, 7 Pick. 
144, and Blake v. Williams, 6 Pick. 286, requiring hard 


work and tough conflict. His examinations and arguments of 
legal questions were comprehensive and thorough, not neg- 
lecting the precedents, but getting down always to the princi- 
ples which underlie them. His addresses to the jury (we 
speak from reputation) were forcible, earnest, logical; not 
brief; with little rhetoric, but that good in quality. 

Upon the death of Chief-Justice Parker, in the summer of 
1830, Mr. Shaw was appointed by Governor Lincoln his succes- 
sor. The selection proved so wise and judicious, and reflected 
so much honor upon the Commonwealth, that one and another 
excellent gentleman has convinced himself, that it was by his 
suggestion, and through his influence, that the appointment 
was made. But no man better understood the wants of the 
place than Governor Lincoln, or who was able to fill it. 
He had practised under the great Chief-Justices, Parsons, 
Sewall, and Parker, and well understood that only a strong 
man could continue the line. He had been in both branches 
of the Legislature, in the Constitutional Convention, and on 
the bench of the Supreme Court, and knew all the leading 
members of the bar of the State. Mr. Shaw had been asso- 
ciated with him as counsel ; had been with him in the Legis- 
lature, in the Convention ; and had practised before him as 
judge. The idea that any person could find out some excel- 
lent lawyer, little known to the Executive, — who had been 
himself on the bench, — and get him appointed Chief-Justice 
of the Supreme Court, is simply absurd. The selection was 
made by Governor Lincoln, and is but one of many claims of 
this excellent magistrate to the respect and esteem of the 

It is true, however, that Mr. Shaw was unwilling at first to 
take the office ; and a heavy pressure was brought to bear 
upon him before he consented to accept. He was then in the 
fiftieth year of his age, had won his way rather slowly, but 
surely, to eminent rank at the bar, and to a valuable business. 
He had acquired a moderate property, and was liviog happily 


and to his taste. He had a growing family to support and 
educate. He knew a great place was to be filled, and was dis- 
trustful of himself. He felt that he ought to and must decline. 
In this exigency, Mr. Webster was requested by the Governor 
to confer with him, and urge his acceptance of the place. 

Mr. Webster used to give a pleasant account of this con- 
ference. He found the future Chief-Justice smoking his even- 
ing cigar. Mr. Webster could not join him. It was a 
weakness of this otherwise notable man, that he could not 
smoke. So Mr. Webster talked while Mr. Shaw smoked. 
Mr. Webster made a regular onslaught upon him. Conceding 
the personal and pecuniary sacrifice, he pressed upon him, 
with the greater earnestness, the public want and demand, the 
dignity and importance of the office, and the opportunity it 
presented of winning an honored name, by valuable and endur- 
ing service to the State. Mr. Shaw was silent, showing, as 
Mr. Webster put it, the impression made upon him, only by 
the greater intensity with which he puffed. Mr. Webster 
could get no more at the first interview than the promise not 
to say No, before he saw him again. At a second interview, 
with the aid of Mr. Shaw's own reflections, and the urgency 
of leading members of the bar, and his own appeal, Mr. Web- 
ster got a reluctant assent. Mr. Webster used to add, that 
however the balance might be as to his other public services, 
he was sure the Commonwealth owed him a great debt for 
that labor of love ; that his efforts (so he thought) had secured 
for the State, for twenty years, so able, upright, and excellent 
a Chief-Justice. It is not difficult to believe, that the earnest 
counsel and pressure of Mr. Webster, fresh from the field of 
the great debate in which he had shown himself the first 
of living orators, and for which the heart of New England so 
clave to him, should have had large, even decisive, influ- 
ence upon the judgment and will of his friend. Be this as it 
may, it speaks none the less for the Chief-Justice, that the 
greatest of New-England statesmen should have felt it added 


to his laurels, and to his claims upon the consideration of the 
people of Massachusetts, that he had aided in obtaining for 
her the services of such a magistrate. 

Chief-Justice Shaw withdrew from the bench in the summer 
of 1860. Upon his retirement, an address was presented by the 
bar of the State, expressing profound admiration of his judi- 
cial labors, and personal esteem and veneration. He died on 
the 30th of March, 1861, in the eighty-first year of his age. 
His death was the tranquil close of a green and happy old age, 
the sunset, without a cloud, of a long, bright, and well-spent 
day, useful and vigorous even unto the twelfth hour. His 
death occurred just at the outbreak of the great rebellion. 
Though the bar and the courts united in tributes of respect 
and veneration to his memory, and arrangements were made 
for the delivery of an eulogy at a future day, the person se- 
lected for the duty having been for some time withdrawn into 
the public service, and the profession, as well as the public 
generally, absorbed in the interests, duties, and passions of 
the great conflict, the service was never performed. The 
writer hopes this imperfect sketch may be some atonement 
for that failure. 

It remains for us to give some estimate of his judicial life 
and labors. In this estimate we cannot omit the element of 
time. He went upon the bench in his fiftieth year, and then 
worked, through the lifetime of a generation, with strength 
and vigor to the last. Some of his later judgments are, indeed, 
his best ; are remarkable for their freshness, for the sagacity 
and grasp with which he apprehended the new exigencies of 
society and business, and applied and adapted the old rules 
of law to them. A striking and beautiful illustration may be 
found in the case of the Commonwealth v. Temple, 14 Gray, 
69. This opinion contains a thorough consideration of the 
rights of travellers to the use of the highways, as affected 
and modified by the introduction and use of street railways. 


It was written when the Chief-Justice was in the eightieth 
year of his age. Old men sometimes travel well in beaten 
paths ; but this opinion strikes out new paths, and has the 
freshness, vigor, and constructive power of early manhood. 
We never read it without admiration of the good sense, tact, 
and grace even, with which the principles of the common law 
are moulded to new conditions, and the old fitted to the new, 
without seam. Lawyers in distant cities of the country, 
where street railroads were introduced, felt it to be fortunate 
that it should have fallen to the lot of Chief-Justice Shaw to 
lay open this new path. 

We have to consider, also, how broad and varied was the 
field of his labor ; that the work which, in Westminster Hall, 
would be apportioned among at least a half-dozen different 
courts, is with us united in one. Saving the jurisdiction in 
admiralty, his domain was the whole field of jurisprudence. 
To-day he would be sitting in a court of equity; to-morrow, in 
a court of errors ; the next day, trying a capital indictment ; 
the next, the probate of a will ; then a question of marriage or 
divorce, then an appeal in bankruptcy, — for the insolvent ' 
law of Massachusetts was in substance and effect a bankrupt 
law. Add to these the new domain of constitutional law, 
growing out of our written frames of government, State and 
national, and the limitations which they were intended to impose 
upon legislative, judicial, and executive authority, in the State 
or nation.; the supervision of all courts of inferior jurisdiction, 
as well as for many purposes of municipal corporations, and 
you get some idea of the extent and variety of the labors of 
the court over which he presided. When we think of these, 
we marvel not that mistakes are sometimes made, but that 
they are not more frequently made ; and that the decisions of 
a court having so boundless a field to cultivate and reap, 
should, for more than sixty years, compare so well with those of 
courts whose jurisdiction and labors are limited to a single 
province of jurisprudence. The fact is, that the breadth and 


comprehensiveness of the field give breadth of comprehen- 
sion to the laborers ; and cases are argued and settled less 
upon mere precedent and more upon principle, than in courts 
of more limited jurisdiction. If there is less accuracy of 
learning, there is less sticking in the bark, — more room for 
expansion and growth. 

We may not omit to consider, in any estimate of the labors 
and services of the Chief-Justice for thirty years, the great 
changes which have taken place in the methods and instru- 
mentalities of commerce and business, and what new applica- 
tions and modifications of the principles of the common law 
became necessary to meet the new exigencies. 

It is a mistaken notion, that, while every thing moves for- 
ward, the law can remain stationary, or lag far behind. In no 
department of science, art, or business, have change and prog- 
ress been more marked, for the last thirty years, than in our 
jurisprudence. In the nature of things, this could not be 
otherwise. Whenever a new invention or discovery is made, 
a new application of science to the arts and business of life, 
the law must follow closely in its footsteps, to secure its re- 
sults, or to secure society against them. The first puff of the 
engine on the iron road announced a revolution in the law of 
bailments and of common carriers. The use of the railroad 
for the carriage of passengers and freight has indeed created 
a new branch of law, made up to some extent of statute pro- 
visions, but to a far greater extent by the application and 
adaptation of the rules of the common law to the new condi- 
tion of things. The railroad began to be used as Judge Shaw 
came upon the bench. How much his wisdom, foresight, and 
that clear comprehension of the principles of the common law 
which enabled him to separate the rule from its old embodi* 
ments, and to mould it to new exigencies, contributed to build 
up this law, to give it system and harmony, and a substratum 
of solid sense, is well known to the profession. We refer to 
a single case, — that of the Norway-Plains Go. v. Boston & 


Maine Railroad, 1 Gray, 263, as an illustration and confirma- 
tion of our remark. 

In the thirty years which Mr. Shaw presided in the Supreme 
Court, great changes were made in the jurisprudence of the 
State and the methods of administration ; and he was con- 
stantly called upon to adapt himself to these changes, to recon- 
cile the old with the new, and to assist in bringing them into 
order and harmony. As in the changes wrought in the law 
by new applications of science to intercommunication, he 
showed here also the strength and fertility of his resources, 
wherever principles and their application were involved. 

We can but glance at some few of the changes in the law 
and its administration. 

In the methods of administration, the most important 
change was the extension of the equity jurisdiction and 
powers of the Supreme Court. When the Chief-Justice came 
upon the bench, the equity powers of the court were limited 
to a few clearly defined subjects-matter, and the equity busi- 
ness and practice were small. Before he left the bench, its 
chancery jurisdiction covered the whole domain of equity, 
and was fast acquiring the qualities of Aaron's rod. 

In the common-law courts, a new system of pleading, ex- 
cept as to real actions, has been introduced; as compared 
with the old system of special pleading, illogical and slipshod, 
without form or comeliness ; but, after all, answering the ends 
of substantial justice better than the often over-nice and 
subtle logic of the old system. With all the imperfections of 
the new practice, the merits of the cause sooner or later strug- 
gle into light. It was not always so with the old. 

There have been also radical changes in the law of evi- 
dence. The objections to the competency of witnesses, with 
the discussions of which the reports were crowded thirty 
years ago, as parties to the record, for interest direct or con- 
tingent in the suit, from want of religious belief, by reason of 
conviction for crime, even from the relation of husband and 


wife, have been swept away, and, going only to the weight 
of the testimony, are transferred from the bench to the jury- 

Another material change is the abolition of imprisonment 
for debt, and of what was justly called the old grab-law, under 
which the maxim, " Vigilantibus non dormientibus subveniunt 
leges" was translated " The devil take the hindmost ; " and 
the substitution for them of one of the best systems of insol- 
vency and bankruptcy known to jurisprudence. 

Most material also have been the changes in the law of the 
domestic relations, and especially that of husband and wife ; 
by the most important of which the wife owns and controls 
the property coming to her by gift, descent, or as the fruit of 
her own labor, — a gift of power likely to lead to more radical 
results. Add to these, changes in the law of divorce, by 
which new causes for the dissolution of the marriage bond 
have been allowed, and the facility of separation greatly in- 

Nor would we omit, in any sketch of our legal progress, to 
note the changes in the modes of trying causes at nisiprius and 
in the arguments of questions of law in banc. The manners 
of counsel have much less of asperity, and there is much 
less of personal controversy and identification of counsel with 
the passions and prejudices of their clients, than prevailed 
thirty years ago. 

The rules requiring written or printed briefs, and limiting 
the time for the argument of questions of law, and the limi- 
tation of the time for addressing the jury, have compelled 
counsel to greater directness and condensation of argument. 
This last change may have been wrought somewhat at the 
expense of the eloquence of the bar. But this is not matter 
of serious regret. The court-room is a place for serious busi- 
ness, and not for rhetoric ; and any eloquence that does not 
arise from a direct, logical, earnest, condensed presentation 
of the cause, may well be left for the platform and the stump. 


We have alluded to these changes in the law of Massachu- 
setts and its practice, not to discuss them, — we are indeed of 
opinion, that they have been wise and salutary, — but for the 
purpose of indicating what constant vigilance, activity, and 
fresh power were necessary to the discharge of the duties of 
the Chief-Justiceship for the period Mr. Shaw held the office. 
No mere following of the old ruts would answer. New paths 
had to be opened and fitted for travel, new hills of difficulty 
had to be cut through, new chasms bridged, new causeways 
over bog and morass constructed. In the comprehension of 
principles, new or old, and their adjustment and reconciliation, 
he was wise and strong. We do not think he took so kindly 
and readily to new forms of procedure ; that he ever, for ex- 
ample, felt himself at home under the new Practice Act. 

We must try to give a somewhat nearer view of the Chief- 
Justice on the bench. He was a good nisi prius judge. His 
perceptions were not remarkably rapid. He was not anxious 
to anticipate counsel, and see how summarily he could twist 
the neck of a cause. He was careful, thorough, systematic. 
He had a patient ear, — not merely the passive consent to lis- 
ten, but the desire to be instructed in the facts and law of 
the case, no matter how inconsiderable the amount involved, 
or humble the parties or their counsel. He was no respecter 
of persons ; and a good point, well put by the youngest mem- 
ber of the bar, told with the same effect as if by the leader. 
His rulings upon interlocutory questions and the admission 
of evidence were well considered and carefully noted. His 
charges to the jury were simple and clear ; in difficult and 
complicated questions of law and fact, remarkably lucid, com- 
prehensive, and forcible in matter and impressive in manner. 
He had a remarkable power of so stating and illustrating the 
principles of law applicable to the cause as to reach the minds 
of the jury. He was, in the best sense, impartial, and weighed 
with an even scale the merits of the cause. But he did not 
understand, that, to be impartial, he must have equal respect 


for truth and falsehood, or for a sound proposition and a falla- 
cious one ; or that the important points must not be stated 
with sufficient distinctness and force to be fully understood. 

It was a pleasure to try causes before him, if it ever is a 
pleasure to try causes : for your repose in his integrity, fair- 
ness, and sense of justice was never ruffled. He held the 
reins in his own hands, quietly, firmly, with no twitching or 
jerking, but so that the strongest men at the bar perfectly 
understood who presided. 

The Chief-Justice brought to the hearing in banc the same 
patience, the same desire to be instructed. There never was 
a judge who more thoroughly understood and appreciated 
the importance of an able, upright, and learned bar in the ad- 
ministration of justice. He was very unwilling to decide any 
difficult cause that had not been thoroughly argued. He 
seemed to feel himself unqualified to decide it. He was re- 
luctant even to depend upon briefs or written argument. He 
liked far better the thorough oral discussion by counsel, with 
an occasional probing and feeling, on his own part, for the 
roots of the matters in controversy. 

In his anxiety to do right, and his desire for the most 
thorough investigation and consideration of causes, the deci- 
sion was sometimes deferred, after all the questions had been 
thoroughly and exhaustively discussed and considered, and 
when further delay might work injustice. Delay in judicial 
proceedings is not indeed an unmixed evil. Some delay 
between the inception of a cause and the trial is good for the 
parties and the public. Many a bitter controversy has been 
spared, and the peace of many a family and neighborhood 
saved, by giving time for the passions of parties to cool and 
to pass in review before the judgment. And, when a cause 
has been tried, there is nothing that is so soothing to the fail- 
ing party as the conviction, that he has been patiently heard, 
and his cause patiently and thoroughly considered. It is 
difficult to find the goldeii mean; but sometimes the delays 


of the Chief-Justice, to those who did not understand the 
motive, looked like procrastination. If it was a failing, it 
leaned to virtue's side. 

Chief-Justice Shaw had the highest sense of natural justice 
and equity ; but he had also the profoundest sense of the 
necessity of uniform and stable laws. He saw in the law 
the rule of conduct for the judge as well as the parties ; and 
that it was the province of the good judge, as Lord Bacon 
says, jus dicere, not jus dare. He did not believe that it was 
any part of his duty to bend a positive rule of law to any 
fancied or even real equity of the case. He appreciated the 
wisdom and safety of positive rules and restrictions, like 
those of the Statute of Frauds and the Statute of Limitations ; 
knowing they must sometimes work injustice, but were neces- 
sary safeguards against far greater wrongs, and, in the long- 
run, wholesome and salutary. The subtleties and sentimen- 
talities by which Chancellors have frittered away the Statute 
of Frauds, — or, as Mr. Justice Story would say, " rescued 
cases from its grasp," — did not commend themselves to his 
judgment. He thought it better to say, This is the rule the 
law-maker has prescribed. 

He was a man of great firmness. It was not obstinacy, 
dogged conceit, unwillingness to confess error. He was sin- 
gularly free from these. We never knew so great a man who 
had so little pride of opinion. His firmness was sense of 
duty ; nothing could shake or disturb that. Such was the 
veneration for him, that no man would have ventured to 
suggest to him a consideration or motive outside of the line of 
duty. Though this firmness brought him into conflict with a 
strong and sensitive popular opinion on several occasions, we 
think it never impaired the public esteem and confidence. 
Men who knew Chief-Justice Shaw found it impossible not to 
respect him. The weight of his judicial character, the un- 
usual confidence reposed in him, were among the effective 
practical arguments with the people against a change in the 


tenure of the judicial office in 1853. A gentleman of our 
acquaintance, meeting a distinguished member of the Consti- 
tutional Convention held that year, inquired, " What are 
they doing at the State-House?' 7 The reply was, " Discuss- 
ing the question, whether Chief-Justice Shaw is a divine 
institution or a human contrivance." A fear was entertained 
that any change in the tenure of the office would result in his 
resignation. He was not a man to be content with any loss 
of the stability or dignity or rights of his court. When the 
salaries of the Judges of the Supreme Court were reduced by 
the Legislature in 1843, he refused to draw his salary. In 
1844, the act reducing the salaries was repealed, and compen- 
sation made for the difference. 

It was the habit, while Chief-Justice Shaw was on the 
bench, for the court, on the last day of the law term, or in long 
terms on Monday mornings, to deliver oral judgments in the 
cases already decided. Sometimes the reports of the opin- 
ions orally given sufficed. More frequently they were subse- 
quently written out for the reporter. These were field-days 
for the Chief-Justice. He was never so great, and never felt 
to be so great, as in some of these oral judgments. His mind 
always seemed to be a little cramped by the pen. His oral 
style was not only more free, it was, to our apprehension, 
more finished and perfect than his written. He had less to 
do with cases. Having made himself master of the facts and 
the precise points in contest, he applied to their solution the 
law, with such ease and clearness, that his law did not seem 
to you a thing acquired, but part of the mind itself. Upon 
reading the judgments afterwards written out for the books, 
you felt a disappointment: a certain glow and finish were 
wanting. You could not help regretting, that the oral judg- 
ment could not have been preserved fresh and warm as it fell 
from his lips. 

The judicial opinion for which he was most bitterly and 
severely reproached was that in the Sims Case, 7 Cush. 285. 



There" were portions of that opinion which did not command 
our assent. But it is not difficult to understand or to respect 
the position of the Chief-Justice on the subject. In convic- 
tion and feeling, he was firmly opposed to slavery and to its ex- 
tension. His article in the " North- American Review " of 1820, 
shows the strength of these convictions. His opinions in Com- 
monwealth v. Ares, 18 Pick. 193 ; Commonwealth v. Taylor, 3 
Met. 72 ; Commonwealth v. Fitzgerald, 7 Law Reporter, — show 
clearly, that, for the cause of natural right, he was ready 
to go up to the extremest line of positive law. The slave 
brougKt here by his master was free. The slave brought 
here by an officer of the navy, whose landing on our 
coast was involuntary, was free. He would not permit the 
voluntary return of a minor slave. He felt that in the Sims 
Case the line of positive law was reached ; that it was defined 
by authority he was bound to respect. His own conviction, 
the result of maturest consideration, was, that the law was 
authorized by the Constitution of the United States ; and that 
Constitution he had solemnly sworn to support. On its face 
was written, "This Constitution, and the laws of the United 
States made in pursuance thereof, . . . shall be the supreme 
law of the land, and the judges in every State shall be bound 
thereby; any thing in the constitution and laws of any State 
to the contrary notwithstanding." The Chief-Justice was so 
simple, honest, upright, and straightforward, it never occurred 
to him there was any way around, over, under, or through the 
barriers of the Constitution, — that it is the only apology that 
can be made for him. 

But, after all, the reputation of the Chief- Justice as a jurist 
must rest upon his reported judicial opinions. These, begin- 
ning with the latter part of the ninth volume of Pickering, 
extend to, and will include, the sixteenth volume of Gray. 
They make, perhaps, a third part of the matter in these fifty- 
seven volumes. Through these reports, he is well known to 
the profession in this country and in Westminster Hall ; but 


chiefly to the profession. Few men read the reports but 
lawyers. The bar constitutes the public of the bench. The 
bar only can fully appreciate the merits, or detect the short- 
comings, of the judge. There is no escape from its judgment ; 
and nothing but real merit secures its approbation. Pride of 
place, the air of gravity, parade of learning, spreading one's 
ideas thinly over a sheet of paper, solemn rhetoric, " wise 
saws and modern instances," avail nothing with good lawyers. 
They readily see whether the judge has got the matter in 
him, — such thorough comprehension of the principles of law, 
that they have ceased to be mere learning, and have become 
part of the mind's texture, — the analytic power which sepa- 
rates from the mass of immaterial matter the precise point at 
issue, and the trained judgment which applies to it the pre- 
cise legal rule. 

The judge is yet more severely tried and judged in the 
reports. There is time for more careful analysis and thorough 
weighing of every position taken ; and, when an opinion 
blocks the way of strong counsel, the dissection is merciless. 
The Chief-Justice stood every test at the bar. No lawyer 
practising before him doubted whether there was a strong 
man on the bench. He will stand equally well in the reports. 
Take him for all in all, his is the first name in the judicial 
annals of Massachusetts. He had not, perhaps, the legal 
genius of Parsons or Jackson, but, it seems to the writer, 
larger grasp and wider scope. 

His judicial opinions are thorough and exhaustive. They 
seldom rest on mere authority, but strike down to the hard- 
pan, — to the principle on which the cases rest. Considered 
as judgments merely, the range of discussion is sometimes too 
broad. The reader has to be cautious and careful to discern 
between what is necessarily involved in the decision, and 
what comes from the overflowing mind of the judge in the 
way of illustration and argument. 

There was another quality of the mind of the Chief-Justice, 


which always impressed us, — its forecast, a sort of prophetic 
forecast. It never said to itself, Settle this point, and " Suf- 
ficient unto the day is the evil thereof." His was " the wise 
discourse, which looks before and after." His mind was 
constantly reaching and feeling its way forward. His opin- 
ions show this habit of thought, and frequently contain inti- 
mations and suggestions which you find in subsequent cases 
have ripened into rules. A mind like this, it is obvious, 
would not be content simply to find a point upon which a 
case could be decided or turned off. It insisted upon grasp- 
ing the principles involved, and wheeling the case into line. 

We venture to affirm, that there are, in the reports of this 
country or of Westminster Hall, no more instructive and 
suggestive judicial arguments than those of Judge Shaw. 
When, in the course of professional investigation, we strike 
one of his leading opinions, there is a feeling of comfort, an 
assurance, that, if we do not find our point decided, we shall 
at least be refreshed and strengthened and directed for our 
farther journey. We know of no more valuable contributions 
to the illustration of the principles of the common law. 

While the style of the Chief-Justice is vigorous, forcible, 
and copious, in illustration, — terseness and precision are 
sometimes wanting. Chief-Justice Shaw could not perhaps 
have written Vice-Chancellor Wigram's " Treatise on the Use 
of Extrinsic Evidence in the Interpretation of Wills," or the 
opinion of his own court in the case of Brattle-square Church 
v. G-rant; in which the law assumes the beauty and pre- 
cision of the exact sciences. But though there is here and 
there a little diffuseness in his style, sometimes repetition, 
the points are clearly and thoroughly stated, and vigorously 
enforced. He did not wind his way through the entangle- 
ment of glade and forest. He cut through a broad path, and 
let in the air and sunlight. It took time ; but the way after- 
wards was open and clear, and its direction not to be mistaken. 

It is, of course, impracticable to examine, within any rea- 


sonable limits, even what may be called the leading opinions 
of the Chief- Justice. To be fairly judged, they must be 
carefully analyzed and studied. Examine almost any volume 
of the reports, and we may get some idea of the extent of 
the field in which he had to labor, of the thoroughness of his 
work, and of the largeness of his powers. We have before 
us the seventh volume of Cushing (1853). The volume con- 
tains at least three leading and most important causes, in 
which the opinion of the Court was given by the Chief- 
Justice, — Commonioealth v. Alger, May v. Breed, and the 
Sims Case. We shall very briefly refer to them. 

Commonioealth v. Alger was an indictment for constructing 
and maintaining a wharf extending beyond the lines fixed by 
the statutes of the Commonwealth for Boston Harbor. The 
defendant (Alger) was, under the colony ordinance, the 
owner of the fee in the flats on which the wharf was built. 

The acts of the Legislature fixing the lines of the harbor, 
and restraining the owners of the flats from building beyond 
those lines, had made no provision for compensation to the 
owners, on account of such restriction. The case was argued 
for the defendant with great ability and force, upon the 
ground, that the act in question was an exercise of the right 
of eminent domain, and the taking of private property for 
public use ; and that, no compensation having been provided, 
the act, as against the defendant, was invalid, as contravening 
the Bill of Rights of Massachusetts, Art. 10, and the pro- 
vision of the Constitution of the United States, forbidding a 
State to pass a law impairing the obligation of contracts. 

The case opened two important questions, — the rights of 
owners of land bounding on the sea, to the flats over which 
the tide ebbs and flows ; and, secondly, the power of the 
Legislature to regulate the use and enjoyment of these rights. 
The careful reading of this opinion can, we think, leave no 
doubt as to the profound learning of the Chief-Justice, his 
grasp of principles, or his great power of illustrating and 
applying them. 


In May v. Breed, the Chief-Justice discusses the question, 
whether a discharge, under the English bankrupt law, of a 
debt due to a citizen of Massachusetts, but contracted in 
England and payable there, is a bar to an action on the debt 
in that State ; and, holding that the law of the place where 
the contract is made and to be performed gives to it its char- 
acter, measures its obligations, and settles when and how it 
shall be terminated and discharged, pronounces the judgment 
of the Court for the defendant. 

Sims 9 Case, as before observed, is an elaborate discussion 
of the constitutionality of the Fugitive-Slave Law of 1850. 

Though the Chief-Justice presided over a local tribunal, 
these cases indicate how comprehensive was its jurisdiction, 
and that no court where the common law is administered 
could be called upon to discuss and settle questions of greater 
magnitude and difficulty. There is no court on either side of 
the Atlantic upon which the opinions in Commonwealth v. Alger 
and May v. Breed would not have reflected new lustre and 

The manners of the Chief-Justice upon the bench were 
quiet, simple, dignified. There was, however, an occasional 
austerity and roughness, which, to those who did not know 
him, looked like acerbity of temper. It was not so. The 
Chief-Justice had a kind heart, which would not willingly 
give pain. 

But the manner was a fault. The practice of the law has 
trials and vexations enough, without adding any that are un- 
necessary. The utmost courtesy and respect are required 
from the bar to the bench ; and courtesy is a reciprocal 
virtue. The example, too, of so great a judge is dangerous, 
and may tempt others to the fault, without the great qualities 
that redeem it. It was a wise prayer of good Thomas Fuller, 
to be saved from the errors of good men. 

If we might, for a moment, and for a closing word, forget 
the critic and speak as the friend, it would be to say, that, 


great as was the judge, the man was greater than the magis- 
trate, — Lemuel Shaw than the venerable Chief-Justice. A 
truer man, indeed, did not grace his generation. With a little 
roughness of exterior, he was like the nuggets of California, 
— through and through solid gold. 

But the man bowed to the magistrate. With the largest 
sense of equity, he was the servant of the law he was set to 
administer, and obeyed its mandate. With the most generous 
love of freedom, and hatred of oppression, he stood unflinch- 
ingly by the Constitution he had sworn to support. With the 
soundest judgment, with masterly powers of reasoning, and, 
in discussion, with a subtlety of logic seldom equalled, he had 
literally no pride of opinion, but retained to the last the 
docility of childhood, — the ever-open and receptive and 
waiting spirit, into which wisdom loves to come and take up 
its abode. With a stern sense of justice, he had the tender- 
ness of a woman ; and while the magistrate pronounced the 
dread sentence of the law, the man was convulsed with grief 
and sympathy. 

With a firm trust in God, with a constant sense of his 
presence, looking to him for guidance and support, nothing 
could move him from the path of duty. He stood in his 
place, and the waves of passion broke at his feet. 

As man and as judge, he bore the severest test, the closest 
scrutiny. The nearer you got to him, the more thoroughly 
you knew him, — the greater, wiser, better man and magis- 
trate he appeared to you. Great on the bench and in the 
books, it was in the consultation room or in conversation by 
his own fireside that you first understood and felt the variety 
and affluence and extent of his resources. 



A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, October 10, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; 
Colonel Aspinwall, Vice-President, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts ; the Bureau of Refugees, 
Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands ; the New-England 
Historic-Genealogical Society ; the Suffolk Institute of 
Archaeology and Natural History ; the Young Men's Mer- 
cantile Library Association of Cincinnati ; the Editors of 
the " Advocate ; " John Appleton, M.D. ; Mr. Loomis J. 
Campbell ; Professor Daniel C. Gilman ; Increase A. 
Lapham, Esq. ; Hon John M. Law ; Edmund Quincy, 
Esq, ; and from Messrs. J. Bigelow, W. G. Brooks, Ellis, 
Green, Lawrence, Quint, C. Robbins, and Winthrop, 
of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a communication 
from the Hon. Alexander H. Rice, of Boston, inclosing 
a letter and a genealogical chart from the Hon. John M. 
Law, of Evansville, Ind. On the chart, which was in- 
tended for the Library of the Society, Mr. Law traces his 
descent to Elder William Brewster, of the " Mayflower." 

The thanks of the Society were ordered to be re- 
turned to the Hon. Mr. Law for this acceptable gift to 
the Library. 

Mr. John C. Gray spoke of the death of a distin- 
guished Associate Member of the Society, the Hon. 
Charles G. Loring, and paid the following tribute to his 
character : — 


Mr. President, — It will not be expected that I should por- 
tray in full the character of our departed friend. My words 
will be few, but, if I do any justice to my own feelings, em- 
phatic. Of Mr. Loring's talents and eloquence little need be 
said. Had he sought popular distinction, no one could have 
pursued it with fairer prospects. But his political life was 
limited to a single year; yet our records and our Statute 
Book will bear me out in saying, that his labors were produc- 
tive of most important and valuable results. But the chief 
object of his exertions was to be useful and eminent in the 
profession of his choice, — with what success let the public 
say. I do not think, however, that his success was owing 
merely to his talents and knowledge : his influence, wherever 
he appeared, was due not a little to the confidence with which 
he inspired every one in his honor and sincerity. , 

No man was ever more faithful to his clients ; but no en- 
thusiasm in behalf of any persons could lead him to promote 
their interest by any violation of truth or fairness. What an 
advocate may say in his client's cause, and what he should 
leave unsaid, is, in many cases, I am aware, a difficult and 
delicate question. Few men could draw the line with more 
accuracy and propriety than our friend; and when once 
drawn, it was to him utterly impassable. 

But there are many far more conversant than I have been 
with his course as a lawyer. There, as I have said, was the 
principal field of his labors, but not the exclusive one. 
Though not seeking public office, he was never indifferent 
to the great political questions which so often agitate our 
community; and we know how often his voice has been 
heard, and how effectively, in behalf of Eight and Liberty. 

It is fitting that this Society should recognize his merits 
as a valuable contributor to the history of his country. An 
historian he was not. But in the last five years we seem to 
have lived centuries. Events have taken place, and ques- 
tions arisen, which have given to the period of our civil 



war an interest unsurpassed in the world's annals. Whoever 
may write the history of that period will do great injustice to 
his task if he fail to consult the correspondence of our friend 
with distinguished foreigners, or his equally able and elo- 
quent addresses to his own countrymen. 

I need not speak of his private virtues. I shall certainly 
not assert that he was without defect, and his lot without 
trials ; but I speak the words of truth and soberness, in say- 
ing that very few have led happier lives, or more rightfully 
earned their happiness. 

Mr. Gray concluded by offering the following resolu- 
tions : — 

Resolved, That, by the death of the Hon. Charles G. Loring, an 
associate widely honored and sincerely loved, the members of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society feel that they have been called to 
bear a severe bereavement. His eminent public services, his many 
virtues in private life, and the contributions of his pen in the service 
of education, law, patriotism, and philanthropy, will long preserve 
among us the memory of his great worth as a jurist, a citizen, a 
scholar, and a Christian. 

Resolved, That the President be requested to appoint one of our 
number to prepare a memoir of Mr. Loring. 

Mr. Gray was followed by Mr. Folsom, Mr. Horace 
Gray, Jr., and by Colonel Aspinwall. 

The resolutions were unanimously adopted, and 
Professor Parsons was appointed to prepare the memoir 
of Mr. Loring for the Society's Proceedings. 

Dr. Ellis called special attention to the new volume 
of " Addresses," &c, of Mr. Winthrop, the President 
of the Society, which had this morning been placed upon 
the table, — a gift from the author. 

Mr. R. Frothingham spoke of a'new volume by our 
associate, Dr. Quint, entitled " The Eecord of the Sec- 


ond Massachusetts Infantry, 1861-65," presented by 
the author, — a most attractive book, in which the 
author records what came under his own observation as 
the chaplain of that Eegiment. 

Colonel Aspinwall briefly spoke in terms of respect 
of the high character and military prowess of the men 
composing the Regiment whose history Mr. Quint has 
commemorated in this book. 

Mr. Whitmore called attention to an allegory printed 
among the "Hutchinson Papers," on pp. 126-133 of 
Vol. i., Third Series, of the Society's Collections, entitled 
" The new Settlement of the Birds in New England," 
which he believed to be the paper described by Calef 
on p. 151 of his "More Wonders of the Invisible 
World." The inference from Calef would be that 
Cotton Mather was the author of the paper referred to. 

Mr. Deane read an interesting letter, recently received 
from the President of the Society, Mr. Winthrop, from 
which the following extracts are taken : — 

Chamouni, Switzerland, 
17th September, 1867. 

My dear Mr. Deane, — I heartily hope and trust that you have 
better weather in Boston to-day than we have in this celebrated valley. 
I do not forget that it is the birthday of my native city, — the anniver- 
sary of the day when " Trimountaine was called Boston," under the 
auspices of my venerated ancestor. Still less can I forget that it is 
the day appointed, upon my own motion, the last thing before I left 
home, for the inauguration of the Everett Statue. I take it for granted 
that the appointment is in process of fulfilment while I am writing ; 
and, though I am not in the way of witnessing the ceremonies, I feel 
the full interest of the occasion. Here we are surrounded with clouds 
and mists ; and the old Monarch of the Mountains, with all his train 
of aiguilles and glaciers, is quite invisible. We saw him yesterday as 
we came down from the Mer de Glace and along the Mauvais Pas ; 


and an exquisite rosy light lingered and played upon his summit as the 
sun went down last evening. So we know he is just above us in all 
his grandeur, though our eyes are forbidden to behold him. But I 
hope that a good clear sunshine is prevailing in Boston to-day, and 
that every thing will conspire to give success to the commemoration 
of our departed friend. I saw enough of the statue at Munich last 
month to feel sure that it will not disappoint expectation ; and I doubt 
not that Governor Andrew and Mr. Hillard, and Mr. Loring too, if he 
is well enough, as I sincerely hope, will deal wisely and eloquently 
with their great subject. I shall look eagerly for the report of the 
proceedings. Pray send me the newspaper which contains the fullest 
and best. I have seen but few American papers since I left London 
in July ; but, now that I am getting round to Paris, I shall be more in 
the way of learning what is going on at home. I shall be in Paris 
before this reaches you, and shall have a month of the Great Exposi- 
tion before it closes. A year would hardly do it justice, from all I hear 
of its multitudinous marvels. I found it impracticable, as I feared, to 
attend the Archaeological Congress at Antwerp. The heat about that 
time was intense, and we had rumors of cholera not far from us. I 
did not care to leave my family in a strange place under such circum- 
stances. You will doubtless have an authentic account of the pro- 
ceedings from some of the American delegates, though Mr. Motley 
(whose wife and daughters were with us at the time) could not attend. 
He is in London, superintending the publication of two more volumes 
of his " Dutch Republic." I was most glad to fall in with our friend, 
Dr. Palfrey, at Interlaken, and to spend an hour with him in talking 
over American affairs, and the friends we had left behind us. He 
looked young and vigorous enough to begin a new History. I wish he 
were in the mood to return to our old Society, and lend us his valuable 
aid in the publication of its Collections. He is soon going to London, 
to examine some papers in the Record Office, and has promised to 
give me a hint if there is any thing which would be specially appro- 
priate for our volumes. Mr. Sainsbury, too, has promised me some- 
thing of interest to bring home. But I do not overlook the abundant 
material which is awaiting publication in our own archives. . . . 

Geneva, 21st Sept. — I was interrupted at this point by a visitor, 
and was unable to resume my pen in season for the steamer of to-day ; so 
I brought my letter along to finish it here. And here I find Mr. James 
Lawrence and other American friends, , with late newspapers from 
Boston. Among other things, I learn that the inauguration of the 


Everett Statue has been postponed, so that my sympathies were pre- 
mature. I hear, too, of the release from the burdens of the flesh, and 
the greater burdens of the spirit, of my venerated friend, Dr. James 
Jackson. I rejoice that he is at length at rest. His excellent son, 
James, was my schoolmate, classmate, and special friend. He died at 
least thirty years ago, after giving promise of even greater eminence 
than his father attained. My last visit to the father, whom I had known 
from my boyhood, was on the 22d of February, 1866, — a few weeks 
only before the clouds gathered so thickly over his mind ; and I shall 
not soon forget his most interesting reminiscences of Washington, who 
passed a night under his father's roof at Newburyport in 1789. I hope 
he may have left them in writing. Nobody in our day has better 
entitled himself to be remembered as " the Good Physician " than Dr. 
James Jackson ; and old Fuller would have taken him as an illustra- 
tion of his charming essay. The death of Dr. Mason Warren is a 
greater calamity, as he had (according to human calculation) so many 
more years of usefulness before him. . . . 

Yours faithfully, Robt. C. Winthrop. 

C. Dbane, Esq. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, November 14, at eleven o'clock, 
a.m.; the Vice-President, Colonel Aspinwall, in the 

The Librarian announced donations from the Boston 
Provident Association ; the Essex Institute ; the Histor- 
ical Society of Pennsylvania; the Mercantile Library 
Association of New York ; the Suffolk Institute of 
Archaeology and Natural History ; the Trustees of Bow- 
doin College ; the Trustees of the Public Library of the 


City of Boston ; the Editors of the " Advocate " ; the 
Proprietors of the " Heraldic Journal " ; John Apple- 
ton, M.D. ; Joseph K. Barnes, Surgeon-General U.S.A. ; 
Franklin B. Dexter, Esq. ; Franklin E. Felton, Esq. ; 
Reuben A. Guild, Esq. ; Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; 
Henry O'Reilly, Esq. ; Octavius Pickering, Esq. ; Hon. 
Josiah Quincy ; Martin B. Scott, Esq. ; Colonel Newell 
A. Thompson; and from Messrs. Bartlet, Chandler, 
Denny, Ellis, Green, Latham, J. Parker, C. Robbins, 
Sibley, Smith, and Whitmore, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read letters of accept- 
ance from President Theodore D. Woolsey, Brantz 
Mayer, Esq., and John Bruce, F.S.A., who had been 
elected Corresponding Members. 

He also announced a gift from Colonel N. A. Thomp- 
son, of Boston, of a large number of volumes of the 
" Boston Daily Transcript," for which the acknowledg- 
ments of the Society were ordered. 

Colonel Aspinwall referred, in the following terms, 
to the decease, since the last meeting, of our distin- 
guished associate, ex-Governor Andrew : — 

Since our last meeting, this Society has sustained a great 
loss, in the death of our associate, John Albion Andrew. Al- 
though he was but recently elected a member, yet I feel sure 
that we shall all unite in honoring his memory by such a 
tribute of respect as will manifest our unfeigned sympathy 
with the deep sorrow felt by the whole community at the 
sudden death of an eminent and beloved citizen, distin- 
guished alike by great private virtues and by many and sig- 
nal services to this Commonwealth and the whole country. 

We all remember, with gratitude, the promptitude with 
which he collected and despatched from this city the succors 


that were needed for the preservation and defence of the 
National Capital, at the outbreak and most critical period of 
our late troubles. Throughout that unnatural conflict, his 
zeal, vigilance, and untiring efforts were all devoted to the 
cause of his country, in strengthening the arm of govern- 
ment to put down the rebellion, and achieve a final and 
decisive victory over the foes of our national existence. 

For the consummate executive and administrative ability 
constantly displayed by him, he may justly be ranked with 
the most renowned patriots of the land. 

Those who knew him best and most intimately can testify 
to the exemplary purity of his life ; and to his amiable, guile- 
less, faithful, and thoroughly Christian fulfilment of every 
domestic, professional, and social duty. 

As others of our associates are waiting to give a more en- 
larged view of his merits and virtues, I shall only add, that, 
of John Albion Andrew we may justly say, the highest 
eulogy would be the simple narrative of his life. 

I have been instructed by the Standing Committee to offer 
the following resolutions : — 

Resolved, That, in the death of ex-Governor Andrew, this Society 
has lost a respected and beloved associate ; the larger community in 
which he lived, a friend, true in all the relations of life ; the Com- 
monwealth, an eminent citizen, faithful to the high trusts which had 
been confided to him ; the country, an ardent patriot, never found 
wanting in ability and will to serve her in the hour of trial. 

Resolved, That the President be requested to appoint one of our 
number to prepare the customary memoir for the Society's Proceed- 

Messrs. Chandler and Waterston then addressed 
the meeting, giving interesting reminiscences of Gov- 
ernor Andrev/s early life, and closing with eloquent 
tributes to his noble character. 

The Resolutions were unanimously adopted, and Mr. 


Chandler was appointed to prepare the memoir for the 
Proceedings of the Society. 

The Hon. Charles W. Upham was elected a Resident 

Mr. Deane called attention to a new volume of Pro- 
ceedings, which had been placed upon the table this 
morning, of which each member was entitled to a copy. 
It embraces a selection from the Proceedings of the So- 
ciety from January, 1866, to March, 1867, inclusive; 
and is the first volume published at the charge of the 
Peabody Fund. 

Dr. Ellis read extracts from an interesting letter 
received from the President, Mr. Winthrop, and dated 
Paris, October 23 ; showing that this Society and its 
welfare were still cherished by him. He referred in the 
following language to the decease of our distinguished 
associate, the Hon. Charles G. Loring : — 

" I have heard with deep regret, within a day or two past, 
of the death of my valued friend, Mr. Loring. I had been 
informed of his illness during the summer, but within a fort- 
night past had been assured of his convalescence, and was 
earnestly in hope that his recovery would be permanent. 
Differing widely from him at times on matters of public con- 
cern, there were few men in our community for whom I had 
so warm a personal regard and respect. I owed him the 
deepest gratitude for favors which he had done me on more 
than one occasion ; and it would have given me peculiar sat- 
isfaction to unite with our Society in paying him the tribute 
which he so well deserves. Boston has not many more such 
men to lose. His pure life, his devoted and disinterested 
labors for the public good, and his professional eminence, had 
secured for him a measure of consideration and confidence 


which any one might envy. But I can do no justice to his 
memory in a few sentences of an off-hand letter, written 
amid the distracting whirl of Paris life." 

Dr. Lothrop, who had recently returned from Eu- 
rope, spoke of having seen Mr. Winthrop while abroad, 
and brought some kind messages from him to the 
Society. He also brought from Mr. Winthrop, under 
cover to the Recording Secretary, two pamphlets, — 
" La France en 1867, par Cyprien Millot," and " Ques- 
tion Mexicaine. L'Empereur est Mort," by the same au- 
thor ; also, a large catalogue of valuable books, to be 
sold in Paris in January next, entitled " Bibliotheca 
Americana," &c. 

A letter was read from Mr. Isaac G. Brewer, a grand- 
nephew of General Heath, addressed to our associate, 
Mr. S. Lincoln, saying that he was requested by Miss 
Anna Heath Blaney, of Roxbury (a grand-niece of 
General Heath), to present to the Society, through Mr. 
Lincoln, a copy of the Memoirs, and also a photograph, 
of General Heath. For these the acknowledgments of 
the Society were ordered. 

A letter was read from Mr. Frederic Kidder, asking 
leave to copy from the MSS. in the Society's Library 
relating to the history of the " Acadiens," or neutral 
French, — particularly from the " Winslow Papers "' 
and from " Winslow's Journal," — with a view- of pre- 
paring a history of the subject to which these papers 
relate. Leave was granted, under the Rules, and the* 
details were referred to the Standing Committee. * 

Mr. Amory read the following letter from John 
Adams to Professor John Gorham, of Harvard College : 



Hon. John Adams to Professor John Gorham. 

Quincy, Jan. 28, 1817. 

Sir, — My thanks are due to you for your Inaugural Address of 
Dec! 11th. 

I rejoice that such a Professorship is established and that so 
accomplished a Professor has been chosen. 

I am afraid to express my wild ideas on this subject. We are 
all Chymists from our cradles. All mankind are Chymists from 
their cradles to their graves. 

The Material Universe is a chemical experiment. Its Author 
and conductor is now, ever was, and ever will be, the only perfect 
Chymist in the universe. I believe he constantly superintends the 
operation, and interposes whenever, if ever, his Special Providence is 
necessary or beneficial. 

Our terrestrial Chymists have a great controversy to decide be- 
tween The Spiritualists and the Materialists. Will your Telescopes, 
Microscopes, Incision Knives, and Analyses ever penetrate to the 
original Atoms, the smallest particles of which this great chymical 
process is composed ? 

What is the first cause of Motion ? Is it Spirit or is it Matter ? 
Some Philosophers, antient and modern, say " Spirit is a mere Meta- 
physical Hypothesis, a mere Chimera." 

I say that Matter is a mere metaphysical abstraction, a mere 
hypothesis, a chimera. We know no more of Matter than we do 
of Spirit. We know nothing of either, but their qualities and effects. 
And we can see no compatibility between Perception, Memory, Judg- 
ment, Reason, and Order ; with Extension, Solidity, and Vis Inertias. 

Can you Chymists discover any possible or conceivable connection 
between Sensation and Reflection, and Matter and Motion ? Mod- 
ern Philosophers say, Spirit is a word void of sense. I say Mat- 
ter is a word void of sense. D'Alembert himself, when he was 
asked in writing, " What is matter " ? answered in writing, " Je 
n'en sgais'rien." And every Chymist of you all must give the same 

• When and how shall we discover the smallest Particles of Mat- 
ter in the Universe ? When and how shall we discover the original 
causes of the mysterious diversity of odours and flavours, consider the 
odour of the Apple, the Quince, the Lime, the Lemon, the Orange, the 
Strawberry, the Raspberry, the Thimbleberry, the Pine Apple, 


the Grape, the Pennyroyal, the Saffron, the Balm, the Sage, the Mint, 
the Tansy, the Cresses, the Sorrels, the Mallows, the Roses, the Blos- 
soms, the Lilies, &c., &c, &c, without number ? Are they globular, 
triangular, quadrangular, Cubes, Cones, Obelisks, Pyramids, Ellipses, 
or what? Do their perfumes and flavours and different medicinal 
qualities depend upon their different modifications and combinations, 
and what are they ? 

What is the difference between Small Pox and Kine Pock ? This 
must be Chymical. "What shall we say of Heat and Light ? Wave 
the former for the present, and think of the latter. A Sperma Casti 
candle placed on a steeple on the great Blue Hill would be seen two 
miles, at least. A small portion of Sperma Casti, therefore, converted 
into light, must fill a sphere of four miles diameter, with matter, if 
light is matter, and so full, that the human optick nerve can discern 
it in every part of that Sphere. How attenuated must that matter be ? 

To pass by the Sun, Moon, and Planets, look at the fixed Stars. 
My friend Herschel," I think, computes sixty or seventy millions 
of them discernible through his telescope. That we may not 
lose ourselves in this wilderness of suns, we will fix upon 
Sirius. I have not time to look into books of astronomy to ascer- 
tain his distance: say one hundred millions of miles. The light of 
Sirius, then, must be visible through this telescope in every part of a 
sphere two hundred millions of miles in diameter, at all times of 
the day, night, year, and age. Who is the Chymist who has levigated 
this light with his pestle in his mortar ? Mathematicians have 
demonstrated the infinite divisibility of matter. The Marquis De 
l'Hospital has demonstrated the existence of quantities "infinitely 
little," and of other quantities infinitely less than those infinitely 
littles. What pretension can we have to limit the power of the first 
Chymist, and suppose that he has desisted at any imaginable minute- 
ness, and fixed any definite magnitude or form of original and 
unchangeable particles of matter? 

In former times, when I looked a little into Classicks, and a very 
little indeed it was, while I was fascinated with the Numbers of 
Lucretius, I could not comprehend his Atoms. In aftertimes, when 
I was delighted with the eloquence of Buffon, I could not help laugh- 
ing at his Molecules. 

Both appeared to me, as ridiculous as the Entities and Quidities of 
a more ancient Philosopher. 

Chymists ! pursue your experiments with indefatigable ardour 


and perseverance. Give us the best possible Bread, Butter, and 
Cheese, Wine, Beer, and Cider, Houses, Ships, and Steamboats, Gar- 
dens, Orchards, Fields, not to mention Clothes or Cooks. If your 
investigations lead accidentally to any deep discovery, rejoice, and 
cry " Eureka ! " But never institute any experiment with a view or a 
hope of discovering the first and smallest particles of matter. 

•I believe with Father Abraham and Sir Isaac Newton in the 
existence of spirit distinct from matter, and resign to the Universal 
Spirit the government of his heavens and earth. 

I pray you to consider this letter as confidential. If it should 
get abroad, I should be thought a candidate for the new Hospital, 
before it will be ready to receive Your obliged Servant, 

John Adams. 

Professor Gorham. 

Mr. Deane presented, in the name of Mr. W. -F. 
Poole, a copy of the beautiful new edition of Johnson's 
" Wonder- Working Providence," of which Mr. Poole 
is the editor. Mr. Deane availed himself of the occa- 
sion to speak in high terms of the editorial labors of 
Mr. Poole in preparing this new edition for the press ; 
aiad, on his motion, the thanks of the Society were 
ordered for the gift. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, December 12, at eleven o'clock, 
a.m. ; Vice-President Colonel Aspinwall, in the chair. 


The Librarian announced donations from the Ameri- 
can Academy of . Arts and Sciences ; the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions ; the Es- 
sex Institute ; Lawrence Academy, in Groton ; the State 
Historical Society of Iowa ; the Trustees of Oberlin 
College ; the Editors of the " Advocate " ; John H. 
Ellis, Esq. ; Professor Daniel C. Gilman ; Reuben A. 
Guild, Esq. ; Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; Henry 
O'Reilly, Esq. ; Charles Scribner & Co. ; Edward Ship- 
pen, Esq.; Rev. E. M. P. Wells, D.D. ; Wm. A. 
Whitehead, Esq.; and from Messrs. Brigham, Green, 
Lawrence, Metcalf, C. Robbins, Sibley, Wheatland, 
Whitmore, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter from 
James C. Farish, M.D., dated Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, 
November 19, 1867, which inclosed a copy of an in- 
scription upon a stone found at .the surface of the ground 
on the shore of Yarmouth, a few feet above high-water 
mark. The writer was desirous of obtaining some in- 
formation or opinion concerning this inscription. 

A communication from Mr. George T. Paine, of the 
" Narragansett Club," Providence, R.I., was read to the 
meeting, asking leave to reprint the letters of Roger 
Williams published in the Society's volumes, and to com- 
pare the printed letter of Williams to Major Mason, 
with the transcript of the letter (made by Williams him- 
self, and sent to Governor Prence, of Plymouth) in the 
Society's Library ; and his request was granted. 

Mr. Brigham read the following passage from the 
Nineteenth volume of the Sussex " Archaeological Col- 
lections," p. 67, relating to William Shirley, Governor 
of Massachusetts, 1741-56: — 


" While at Boston, General Shirley built a house for himself, with 
bricks imported from England at a vast expense, which he after- 
wards covered, both within and without, with boards. The house, 
which remains, is called ' Shirley House/ " 

Mr. Brigham stated that the house, which of late 
years has been known as the " Eustis House," had 
lately been removed from its ancient site ; that it was 
found that the cavities between the outside and inside 
boarding were filled with bricks, according to the 
fashion of the time ; that these bricks might have been 
imported, but it was hardly possible, inasmuch as, at the 
time when the house was built, — which was between 
1740 and 1750, — -there were bricks enough made in 
the Province, and suitable, too, for the purpose for which 
these were used. 

J. Winter Jones, F.S.A., Principal Librarian of the 
British Museum, was elected a Corresponding Member. 

Mr. Amory read the following paper on the seals of 
the Colony and of the State of Massachusetts : — 

Seals of Massachusetts. 

No full or satisfactory account of its seals, State, Pro- 
vincial, or Colonial, is found in the Histories of Massachusetts. 
Information on the subject is only to be gathered from 
records or similar sources. In a portion of the present 
inquiry may be traced the footprints of diligent explorers ; 
and acknowledgment is due to our associate, Mr. Joseph B. 
Felt, who, in the appendix to his " History of the Currency 
of Massachusetts," printed in 1839 for restricted circulation, 
has left, on many points, little to glean. 

The use of seals, for authenticating documents and adding 
solemnity to important transactions, is believed to be as an- 


cient as civilization. Heraldic devices were the product and 
growth of feudal times. When war was the chief occu- 
pation of man, and its leaders and principal combatants rode 
to the field, clad in mail, with visor closed, the blazon on the 
shield was frequently the only mark distinguishing friend 
from foe. These devices, at first personal, came in time to 
be hereditary, and transmitted from sire to son ; each family 
of note for possessions or public service retained through 
its several generations and branches the arms selected by its 
founder, and confirmed by the heralds as its exclusive in- 
heritance. These arms were carved on precious stones, and 
worn as signet rings, or engraved on broader surfaces of 
metal. Impressions from them, on wax, were affixed by 
feudal superiors to their treaties and laws ; by personages 
of less degree, to their deeds and obligations. In the mother- 
country, upon the accession of each successive monarch to 
the throne, a new seal is prepared, with the royal arms on 
one side, and some appropriate device upon the other; the old 
seal becoming by custom the perquisite of the Lord Chan- 
cellor at the time of the demise. It is one of the functions 
of that officer to keep the great seal in his custody ; and pub- 
lic acts derive their validity and sanction from the assent of 
the crown, indicated by the royal signature, and by having 
attached to the instruments that specify their purport, disks 
of wax, for the most part of later years sheathed in paper, 
whereon the seal has been impressed. Such impressions 
were no doubt affixed to the grand patents of 1606, from the 
crown to the London and Plymouth companies, as to that of 
the Council of New England in 1620, under which these New- 
England States were planted ; and also to the charters of the 
several colonies, delegating powers of government and legis- 
lation. Seals being no exclusive privilege of crowned heads 
or private individuals, but a very essential element of all cor- 
porate bodies, the Grand Council, as it is sometimes styled, 
was presumed to have had a seal. There could be little doubt 


it had been attached to the numerous grants within its terri- 
torial limits ; yet all the impressions that remained upon such 
patents as have been preserved are too broken and defaced to 
enable us to distinguish the device. The attention of our as- 
sociate, Mr. Deane, whose historical acumen nothing escapes, 
having been two years ago called to the subject by Dr. Pal- 
frey, a paper in our recent volume of Proceedings, 1866-67, 
at page 470, furnishes the result of his researches. He had 
observed upon the reverse of the titlepage of Captain Smith's 
" Advertisements for the unexperienced Planters of New 
England," published in 1631, a coat of arms with which he 
was not familiar. He soon after found the same arms upon 
an elaborately engraved titlepage of Smith's " History of 
Virginia, New England, & the Summer Isles," 1624. A part 
of this titlepage was a curtailed map ; and observing, near 
that part of it representing Virginia, the arms of the Virginia 
Company adopted by that colony ; near the Islands, the arms 
belonging to them, — it was a natural conclusion that a third 
coat, near the delineation of New England, identical with that 
in the " Advertisements," was what he sought. A copy of 
it forms part of the titlepage of Dr. Palfrey's " History 
of New England," ed. 1865, and will be found, with the com- 
munication alluded to, in the Proceedings, at page 471. The 
shield is party per fess. In the upper portion are the royal 
arms of England, quartered with the Harp of Erin and Lion 
of Scotland ; and the lower compartment is barry wavy of six, 
argent and azure. The crest is Neptune mounted upon a 
sea-horse, with a trident held aloft. The supporters are two 
allegorical female figures, which may be interpreted to repre- 
sent wisdom and science ; and the motto " Gens incognita 
mihi serviet." 

It seems reasonable to presume that the proprietary planta- 
tions, derived from the council, required no other seals than 
those of their proprietors. ' In the titlepage of the Plymouth 
Records is to be found a vignette of the seal of that colony. 


The shield is divided by a cross into equal portions, in each of 
which is an Indian kneeling ; and on either side of each fig- 
ure is a diminutive pine-tree, rising no higher than the knee. 
In April, 1629, the Company of Massachusetts Bay, in an 
official letter, inform Governor Endicott that they have sent 
by Mr. Samuel Sharpe, passenger in the George, the Com- 
pany's seal in silver. It bore the representation of an Indian, 
having a full head of hair, a covering of leaves around his 
loins, a bow in the right hand, and an arrow in the left. He 
occupied wild and uncultivated ground, and near by are two 
pine-trees, one on each side of him, somewhat more de- 
veloped than those on the seal of Plymouth, and rising 
to the waist. Appended to his mouth is a label, with the 
phrase, " Come over and help us " ; indicative of one lead- 
ing motive that prompted the settlement, — that of con- 
verting the natives. Around the seal is the inscription 
BAY IN NOYA ANGLIA " ; and over the head of the 
Indian, between the words lt Sigillvm " and " Anglia," is a 
cross. This seal, or its counterpart, — for one is said to have 
been engraved by Hull, Master of the Mint in 1657, — seems 
to have been kept in the custody of the Governor, who, by 
law, in 1651, was authorized to receive five shillings for 
affixing impressions of it to private commissions and powers 
of attorney, and attesting the same with his signature. With 
the abrogation of the colonial charter, Oct. 22, 1684, speedily 
followed by the death of the king, passed away its ancient 
seal. It was long cherished in the hearts of the people, and, 
in a modified form, resumed a century later, when the colony 
had become a sovereign State. Andros arrived at Boston, 
Dec. 20, 1686, as Governor of all New England ; and for nearly 
three years the inhabitants were fretted and fevered by the 
caprices, at times seemingly malignant, of authority un- 
checked. It was proposed to divest of their property 
those who did not submit without murmur, and distribute it 



among the more subservient. Their condition was sym- 
bolized by the seal provided for them by the regal man- 
date. It bore the figure of James II. seated, and two 
figures kneeling before him ; one tendering a petition, the 
other offering tribute, with the motto, ingeniously bitter and 
out of place, " Nvnqvam libertas gratior extat." On the re- 
verse were the royal arms, with the inscription, " SI GILL YM 
NOY^E ANGLIC IN AMERICA." Tyranny was as intol- 
erable then as later, and provoked resistance. On the 18th 
of April, 1689, soon after the arrival of intelligence that the 
Prince of Orange had landed in England, the people rose in 
mass ; and, overwhelming all opposition, sent Andros and his 
advisers prisoners to the fort. In re-organizing under the 
colonial charter, the former seal, if preserved, was probably 
in use ; but affairs of vaster magnitude occupied attention, 
and action on a point comparatively unimportant was de- 
ferred. When the colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts, 
with Maine, were consolidated by the charter of October 7, 
1691, into the Province of Massachusetts Bay, Sir William 
Phips, the first governor appointed by the crown, who arrived 
at Boston on the 14th of May, 1692, brought, no doubt, with 
him, the province seal, with the royal arms and titles, and cir- 
cular inscription in Roman capitals, " SIG. R. PROYINCI^E 
AMERICA." The appendages of the Lion and the Unicorn, 
as supporters, formed no part of the seal impressed on the 
Provincial acts down to Sept. 13, 1728, when the supplemental 
charter of George I. took effect; but they did from April 18, 
1729, to June 29, 1773, after which there is no royal seal 
attached to the statutes. From this it may be inferred that 
the seal was attached after the act received the royal assent or 
sanction. July 9, 1767, the king commanded that the govern- 
ment of the province should use a new seal, which he sent 
them, differing only as to the royal name ; and that the old 
seal should be sent to the council office in Whitehall, that it 
might be defaced by him in the Privy Council. When 


British troops took possession of the capital, the Province seal 
was left, — to disappear. When they were forced to quit it, 
the people outside were putting on their own iron crown of 
sovereignty, preparing to seal their independence, if need be, 
with their blood. 

Three sessions of the Provincial Congress passed, without 
reference to a seal, though Colonel Revere, with the aid of a 
committee, designed plates for bills, which were still of credit, 
and proved substantial sinews of war. The patriots insisted 
that the king was waging hostility against them, not they 
against the king ; and to lose by abandonment no claim to 
such liberty as the charter permitted, should they be obliged 
to succumb, they re-organized, on the 19th of July, 1775, 
under the Province charter ; the executive functions, the 
office being vacant, vesting in the major part of the council. 
A committee was forthwith appointed in the House to pro- 
vide a seal ; and, being joined, reported to the former body, 
that the device of the old Province seal should not be taken 
up, but the device therewith, presumed to be somewhat 
similar to that under the first charter, be the established seal 
for this Colony for the future. This was accepted August 7, 
by the council, with this amendment, that, instead of an 
Indian, holding a tomahawk and cap of liberty, there be 
an English American, holding a sword in the right hand, and 
Magna Charta in the left, imprinted on it ; and around him 
these words, " Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem ; " 
which being sent down was concurred in. The council 
consisted of — 

James Bowdoin. James Otis. William Sever. 

Walter Spooner. Caleb Cushing. John Winthrop. 

John Hancock. Thomas Gushing. Samuel Adams. 

Eobert T. Paine. Jona. Gerrish. Enoch Freeman. 

James Prescott. Eldad Taylor. Benj. Lincoln. 

Michael Farley. Joseph Palmer. Samuel Holten. 

Moses Gill. John Fales. Benj. White. 

Benj. Greenleap. John Adams. Charles Chauncy. 

Benj. Chadbourne. Jedidiah Foster. Jabez Fisher. 
Thomas Adams. 


Hancock, Paine, and Cushing, members of the Continental 
Congress, and also of the council, were not among those 
recorded as present at Watertown. 

To which of the members present is to be attributed the 
selection of the devise or motto, has not been transmitted, 
as they were all probably familiar with Algernon Sidney's 
" Discourses concerning Government." This work had been 
republished in 1763, at the expense of Thomas Hollis, the 
benefactor of Harvard College, and again in 1772. 

From the circumstances under which it was written, 
similar in many respects to their own, and its principal doc- 
trines that all government should of right be based on the 
consent of the governed, it was a constant study and standard 
authority with the patriots. But not only in his political faith 
and the perils to which it subjected him, but in his noble 
traits of character, and enthusiastic ardor for constitutional 
liberty, there were other points of resemblance to them. He 
also belonged to that army of martyrs whose memory is the 
common heirloom of the race. Highly educated, versed in 
political science, estimating aright the intolerable oppression 
it was his lot thrice to experience under the Charleses and 
the Protector, his good sense and steadfastness to principle, 
which tempered the impetuosity of his nature, also blocked the 
way to positions of influence, which he was too proud to seek, 
and too honest to attain. But if not sufficiently subservient 
to be of much account while he lived, his able and eloquent 
utterance of the sentiments for which they were contending, 
transmitted with the story of his exile and his death, had 
enshrined him in the hearts of the patriots. When, on that 
August morning, in the ancient church at Watertown behind 
the American lines, the verse which has ever since been the 
motto of Massachusetts was pronounced, it is reasonable to 
believe that it produced a sensation. 

A younger son of Sir Robert Sidney, second Earl of 
Leicester, by Dorothy Percy, daughter of the Earl of North- 


umberland ; great grandson of Sir Henry, one of the best and 
wisest of Elizabeth's statesmen ; and grandnephew of Sir 
Philip, who received his mortal wound at Zutphen in Sept., 
1586, — Algernon Sidney was born in 1622. He took part, 
early in the civil war, with the Parliament, of which he was 
a member, and rose to the rank of colonel in its armies. He 
was not present at the trial of the king, though he approved 
the sentence. When Cromwell, chafing at any restraint upon 
his arbitrary temper, dissolved the Long Parliament, Sidney, 
standing near the speaker, was thrust out with the rest. He 
withdrew to Penshurst, — given a hundred years before to his 
ancestor, Sir William, by Edward VI,, his pupil, — and there 
he remained until the death of the Protector. When Richard 
Cromwell succeeded, the Parliament resumed its sessions ; 
and, in May, 1659, he was despatched to the continent to 
mediate a peace, happily effected between the Kings of 
Sweden and Denmark. It was while at Copenhagen, then, 
or a few months later, when on his return from Stockholm, 
that he wrote in the album of the University, as mentioned 
shortly after in a letter of reproof from his father, the Earl of 
Leicester, the celebrated lines — 

" Manus hsec inimica tyrannis 
Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem." — 

which were torn from the book by Terlon, the French min- 
ister, as a reflection on Louis XIV. Having no expectation 
of being included in the proffered amnesty, he remained 
abroad, — sometimes in danger of being assassinated by orders 
of his jealous monarch, who never said a foolish thing and 
never did a wise one. He occupied himself in study, and in 
preparation or completion of his " Discourses concerning Gov- 
ernment," supposed by some authorities to have been com- 
menced under the Protectorate. While in Paris, attending 
some pageant of the court, the French king, attracted by the 
beauty of his steed, insisted upon having it ; but, when sent 


for, Sidney shot it, saying that his horse was born a free crea- 
ture, had served a free man, and should not be mastered by a 
king of slaves. When his father's life approached its close, 
he was desirous of once more beholding his son, to whom he 
seems to have been tenderly attached, and who for seventeen 
years had been in exile. Influence was made through the Earl 
of Sunderland, his grandson, and Sidney was permitted to 
return. For a time he kept aloof from politics ; but his 
ardent nature, impatient of arbitrary power, betrayed him 
into imprudent associations. He was accused of complicity 
with Monmouth; and, without proof, — fragments of his " Dis- 
courses" being adduced in evidence against him, — he was, 
in December, 1683, condemned and executed. His " Dis- 
courses " were first printed in 1698, soon after the reversal 
of his attainder, fifteen years after his death. If less inter- 
esting from having been in some measure controversial, and 
consequently less methodical than might have been wished, 
they have maintained their position as a standard work. 
Their eloquent arguments in support of the right of men to 
govern themselves, and denunciations of despotic rule, lent 
vigor and success to the American Revolution. It was in 
such esteem with Josiah Quincy, Jr., that he bequeathed his 
copy as a special legacy to his son. The felicity of the 
phrase inscribed in the album at Copenhagen, as a motto for 
a people struggling for freedom, and independence of a 
power that had become foreign to them, naturally impressed 
not only the unknown councillor who suggested it, but all the 
members of the General Court. 

A few days after the adoption of these arms, an issue 
was authorized of bills of credit, to the amount of one hun- 
dred thousand pounds ; each note to bear the figure of an 
American, with a sword and Magna Charta, and the motto 
of the. seal, and the words "Issued in defence of American 
liberty." This emission is known as the " sword-in-hand 
money ; " and the copper plates, from which it was struck, 


engraved by Paul Revere, are in the State department at the 
State House. Immediately -after the State Constitution was 
adopted, Nov. 4, 1780, a committee, consisting of Colonel 
Davis, Colonel Baldwin of the House, and Israel Nichols of 
the Senate, appointed to consider and determine upon a seal 
for this Commonwealth, reported, November 10, that the whole 
matter should be referred to the council. A strong popular 
sentiment prevailing in favor of the device on the first- 
charter seal, the figure of an Indian, — which then for a cen- 
tury had surmounted the roof of the Province House, and 
has been only within a few years removed, — not naked as 
before, but clad in shirt and moccasins, was substituted in 
place of the American. The council record on the subject, 
under date of Dec. 13, 1780, is as follows : — 

" Wednesday December 13, 1780, 
" Ordered. That Nathan Cushing, Esq., be a Committee to prepare 
a Seal for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

" Who reported a Device for a Seal for said Commonwealth as 
follows ; viz. Sapphire, an Indian dressed in his shirt and Moggosins, 
belted proper, in his right hand a Bow, Topaz : in his left an Arrow, 
its point towards the Base, of the second : on the Dexter side of the 
Indian's head, a Star, Pearl ; for one of the United States of America. 
" Crest — On a wreath a Dexter Arm cloathed and ruffled proper ; 
grasping a Broad Sword, the Pummel & hilt Topaz : with this motto, 
Ense petit placidam Sub Libertate Quietem — And around the Seal 

— Sigillum Republics Massachusettensis. Advised that the said Re- 
port be accepted as the Arms of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." 

— (Council Records, vol. 15, p. 49.) 

Another emblem connected with our annals deserves a 
word. When this continent was discovered, Europe and Eng- 
land also, were, for the most part, Catholic, and, half their 
days, ate no meat. Codfish, as gold, attracted adventure to 
its shores, and has yielded in the centuries a more plentiful 
harvest. This bounty of Providence has been variously 
recognized. When Plymouth sold its Kennebec territory to 


Tyng and his associates in 1661, they took for their cog- 
nizance the anchor and a codfish, with the motto, " Nee 
Frustra Dedit Rex." The representation of the codfish is 
found frequently on bills of credit, on seals of court, and, 
in the old State House burnt in 1749, was suspended in 
its hall of legislation. March 17, 1784, just eight years after 
British rule ceased in Massachusetts, Mr. John Rowe, a patriot 
of note, moved the General Court, that it should be hung up 
in their room as had been usual formerly, as a memorial of the 
importance of the fisheries to the welfare of the Common- 
wealth. With the other tutelary divinities, — the swords and 
drums, and pictures of the ancient worthies that looked 
down from their high estate on the popular branch, an ex- 
ample of decorum, — it was transported, in 1798, to Beacon 
Hill. Removed for a temporary purpose, it is hoped it will 
resume its place in benigner effulgence, as a relic of the past, 
and palladium of the future, proving — what the Seneca chief 
declared it at Barnstable — the emblem of justice, since it 
bore the scales. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, January 9, at eleven o'clock, a.m.; 
Colonel Aspinwall, the first Vice-President, in the 

The Secretary read the Records of the last meeting. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Narra- 
gansett Club ; the New-England Historic-Genealogical 

1868.] JANUARY MEETING. 105 

Society; the Trustees of Vassar College; the Editors 
of the " Advocate ; " John Appleton, M.D. ; Count 
Adolphe de Circourt ; H. Sidney Everett, Esq. ; Charles 
H. Hart, Esq. ; Clement H. Hill, Esq. ; Benjamin P. 
Johnson, Esq. ; Major L. A. Huguet-Latour ; Hon. 
John G. Palfrey ; William B. Reed, Esq. ; Hon. Henry 
Wilson ; and from Messrs. W. G. Brooks, Denny, Ellis, 
Green, Latham, Metcalf, C. Robbins, Smith, Whitmore, 
and Whitney, of the Society. 

Mr. Folsom presented, in the name of Mrs. Sparks, 
four volumes of manuscripts, being the " copy " from 
which were printed the four volumes of letters addressed 
to Washington, entitled " The Correspondence of the 
American Revolution, . . . Edited from the original 
manuscripts. By Jared Sparks." Boston, 1853. 

Voted, That the thanks of the Society be returned to 
Mrs. Sparks for this acceptable gift. 

Voted, That the Standing Committee cause said 
manuscripts to be properly bound. 

Dr. Blagden announced the Memoir of Dr. Jenks as 
in readiness for publication. 







The Rev. William Jenks, D.D. LL.D., died in Boston, on 
the 13th of November, 1866. He was the son of Captain 
Samuel and Mary (Haynes) Jenks, and was born at Newton, 
Mass., November 25, 1778. His father moved to Boston 
when the son was four years of age ; and this son was sent, 
not many years after, to the public Latin school ; and thence 
to Harvard College, where he was graduated in the class of 
1797. He was married to Betsey Russell, October 22, 1797, 
by the Rev. Dr. Kirkland. Mrs. Jenks was a lady whose 
affectionate and intelligent faithfulness, in aiding and com- 
forting him in all the duties of professional and domestic 
life, made her death, in September, 1850, an irreparable loss 
to him and to his children. 

In the course of his long life, Dr. Jenks occupied positions 
of responsibility and usefulness, which he filled ever with a 
modest, but firm and courageous faithfulness. Soon after 
leaving college, he was employed as instructor of some of 
our most distinguished citizens, North and South. He next 
accepted the situation of reader, for a few years, in the 
Episcopal (Christ's) Church, at Cambridge ; whence he was 

1868.] MEMOIR OF REV. DR. JENKS. 107 

called, as his theological and ecclesiastical views became 
matured, to a Congregational parish, in Bath, Maine. Here 
he preached to a loving and beloved people for twelve years. 
In the latter part of this period, he was invited to succeed 
the lamented and scholarly Buckminster, in the Congre- 
gational Church in Portsmouth, N.H. ; but a professorship 
of Oriental and English literature having been endowed in 
Bowdoin College, he was appointed to this ; and, having 
accepted, continued in it for three years, in addition to his 
pastoral charge, his people having suffered by the war of 

On returning to Boston in 1818, he opened a private 
school; but occasionally preached. Soon, the condition of 
seamen, with respect to attentions of a religious kind, occu- 
pied many of his thoughts, and he became the pioneer in 
efforts for their religious welfare in this city. Under the 
auspices of the " Society for the Religious and Moral In- 
struction of the Poor/' he opened the first free chapel for 
seamen, in a building on Central Wharf; .and, in connection 
with the same society, a chapel, also free, at the West End. 
These institutions flourished. That for the sailors has grown 
into what are now the " Mariners' Church," and the " Sailors' 
Home ; " and it probably led, indirectly, to the establishment 
of the " Seaman's Bethel," that highly useful institution in 
the northern part of the city. Meanwhile, the chapel in the 
West End has led, in the varied forms taken by the " Society 
for the Religious and Moral Instruction of the Poor," to the 
formation, not only of the present " City Missionary Society," 
but also, indirectly, yet very clearly, to the gathering of the 
present flourishing and influential Shawmut Church, in the 
southern part of Boston. It also resulted, after the building 
of a chapel in Butolph Street, in collecting a congregation, 
which built a church for Dr. Jenks in Green Street, where 
he officiated for about twenty-five years. It was during his 
connection with this parish, that he undertook the great 


labor of his life, — the " Comprehensive Commentary " on the 
Bible, in five volumes ; to which is added a supplementary 
volume, containing a " New Concordance," " A Guide to the 
Study of the Bible," with other useful compilations, and an 
index to the whole commentary. Any one, who will carefully 
examine the work, will not be disposed to dissent from the 
high opinion of it expressed by Allibone in his " Dictionary 
of British and American Authors," and cited by the Pres- 
ident of this Society, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in 
announcing to the Society the death of its author : that 
" it stands without a rival for the purpose for which it was 
intended." Over twenty thousand copies of it were sub- 
scribed for, which required the printing of 120,000 imperial 
8vo volumes. 

At the time of his death, Dr. Jenks was the oldest member 
but one of the Massachusetts Historical Society, having been 
elected a resident member in 1821, and standing next on the 
list to the Hon. James Savage, its late honored President. 

For nearly fifty years he has been an active and useful 
member ; and his writings have repeatedly added to the 
interest and value of its Proceedings. In the catalogue of 
its library are found " An eulogy commemorative of Hon. 
James Bowdoin, president of Bowdoin College," in 1812; 
" An Address to the members of the American Antiquarian 
Society," in 1813 ; one to " the Members of the New- 
England Historic-Genealogical Society," in 1852. And, in 
the Collections of the Society, there is an account of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society, in vol. vii. 3d series ; and 
a Memoir of the Hon. Thomas L. Winthrop, President of the 
Society, in vol. ii. of the 4th series. Also, a Memoir of 
the Rev. Dr. Holmes, the author of the " American Annals ; " 
Memoirs of the Rev. John Codman, and the Rev. Dr. Charles 
Lowell; and a notice of the Sieur D'Aulnay, of Acadie, trans- 
lated from the French. 

He was the senior vice-president of the American Antiqua- 

1868.] MEMOIR OP REV. DR. JENKS. 109 

rian Society, whose president — the Hon. Stephen Salisbury 
— and its members have paid a fitting and affectionate tribute 
to his memory, in their recorded address and resolutions oc- 
casioned by his death. Besides his address delivered on 
their first anniversary in 1813, he also delivered one before 
them, on the occasion of their semi-centennial celebration, at 
Worcester, only four years since. 

With each of his more prominent positions in life, and the 
conscientious performance of the duties they required, Dr. 
Jenks connected much zeal and effort in advancing, incidentally, 
the ends and interests of other institutions for promoting the 
religious, moral, and intellectual improvement of his fellow-men. 
He took an active part in the advancement of popular edu- 
cation; and sound learning had in him a hearty and intelligent 
advocate. He was among the first in our country to cultivate 
the languages and literature of the East ; and he strove in 
every practicable way to foster Oriental studies, with a view 
not only to enlarge the culture of educated men, but also 
to expand those benevolent sympathies which embrace the 
human race, and have originated our missionary societies. 
As a result of his long-cherished wishes and efforts of this 
kind, he co-operated with the late Hon. John Pickering, the 
Eev. Dr. Anderson, and other kindred minds, in founding 
the American Oriental Society, the membership and publi- 
cations of which are securing for it a wide reputation.* 

His known interest in the Indians of our country led to his 
appointment by Massachusetts, as a commissioner to persuade 
those in Maine to renounce hunting for husbandry, and thus 
become permanent and useful cultivators of the soil. The 
African, too, found in him a friend, whose sympathy in his 
behalf was active and well known. 

* In a Memoir read before the Society, at its annual meeting, held in Boston, May 
22, 1867, Dr. Anderson said, " I was in circumstances to know, that the idea of the 
American Oriental Society originated with Dr. Jenks, having heard him repeatedly 
suggest the desirableness of such an institution before anv steps were taken towards 
its formation. Nothing was actually done until the year 1842, when the very essential 
co-operation of the Hon. John Pickering was cheerfully given." 


These facts of his personal history show that Dr. Jenks 
must have been what all who have known him intimately can 
bear witness that he was, a true Christian, a faithful preacher 
of the gospel, an accurate and accomplished classical scholar, 
an upright and highly useful man. 

The study of the Scriptures, united with his natural as 
well as moral tendencies, made him eminently charitable. 
He had learned to reduce what he esteemed the essential 
truths of the Christian religion to their simplest elements ; 
while he was faithfully true to his own religious convictions, 
and was fully persuaded of the importance and necessity of 
stating, at proper times, and for proper purposes, in dis- 
tinctly expressed articles of faith, embodied in what is called 
a creed, or in a confession of faith, what he and others 
believed to be the distinctive doctrines of the Christian sys- 
tem. His own religious belief harmonized essentially with 
the doctrines stated in the Cambridge Platform, and with that 
confession of faith " owned and assented unto by the Elders 
and Messengers of the churches assembled at Boston, May 
12, 1680 ; " which confession is almost verbally the same with 
that usually called the " Confession of the Savoy," and with 
that of the Presbyterian Church of the United States. 

There is, we think, in all the great truths of the Christian 
religion, particularly in those which are most essential, and 
which pervade the whole system, a marked tendency to pro- 
duce and cherish a habit of mind, which, — because all the 
parts of the divine government harmonize with each other, — 
prompts it quickly to refer, for the illustration or the con- 
firmation of them, to the analogies of common life, as seen 
in the works of nature and the events of Providence. They 
thus tend to cherish in educated men the power of mak- 
ing quick combinations of facts, which may at first seem 
to be incongruous. This produces a habit of mind favor- 
able to what is called wit. Hence we account for the some- 
what peculiar tendency, in many of the most distinguished 


theologians of New England, to indulge in an innocent 
playfulness, which, like flowers on the surface of rocks; 
gave grace and beauty to what otherwise would have been 
of a stern and unpleasant character. This tendency gave 
always a pleasing and genial spirit to the conversation and 
manners of the subject of this memoir. 

In his views of ecclesiastical or church government, Dr. 
Jenks was a Congregationalist. He valued, with what might 
be called enthusiasm, the right of private judgment in religion, 
and that direct adaptation of the first principles of the congre- 
gational form of church government to promote and preserve 
religious as well as civil liberty. He said, on one occasion, to 
the writer of this notice, as expressive of the importance of 
this system, and of his estimate of the trials of those who 
adopted it, and the duty of maintaining it, in allusion to what 
the chief captain at Jerusalem said to the apostle Paul, 
" With a great 'price obtained we this freedom." 

At the same time, few men would have assented more 
fully and heartily than Dr. Jenks to that catholic and truly 
liberal proposition, so happily stated by the late Robert Hall, 
of England, in the preface to his admirable treatise on the 
" Terms of Communion ; " that " no man, or set of men are 
entitled to prescribe as an indispensable condition of com- 
munion, what the New Testament has not enjoined as a con- 
dition of salvation." 

The influence of this reduction of the terms of Christian 
communion to the standard of the New Testament, had a 
marked power, combined with his great kindness of natural 
temper, in forming the character, guiding the life, and even 
affecting the manners of Dr. Jenks. Whenever he dis- 
covered reasonable evidence, in any of his fellow-men, of 
an affectionate and penitential dependence in that way of 
forgiveness and salvation opened, through Christ, in the New 
Testament, he sympathized with them in every desire and 
effort for the fullest freedom of inquiry into all parts of 


religious truth. He could and would freely accept from an 
opposite creed any thing that might help him the more clearly 
to illustrate truth, or to modify and if necessary correct the 
statements of his own. And he felt bound to consider him- 
self as a helper, proportionably to his ability, of all earnest 
men, of whatever creed, to investigate religious truth, and 
to receive them as helpers to himself. 

It was this spirit, without reasonable doubt, which led him, 
for the first few months of his ministry, to act as reader in 
" Christ's Church " (Episcopal), in Cambridge. It was this 
spirit, which caused him always through life to cherish, and on 
proper occasions to express, a high veneration and apprecia- 
tion of many of the statements of truth in the system of 
Emanuel Swedenborg, or the doctrines of the New Church, 
while he as freely said he could not and did not accept the 
whole system as true. 

This habit of mind and life, combined as it was with a 
peculiarly kind and bland natural disposition, and a more than 
common ease and gracefulness of manner, gave to his whole 
bearing what may be called a Christian affability, which 
suggests, as we think of it, a happy definition once given of 
true politeness, as being " benevolence in trifles." But his 
benevolence did not end in trifles : it extended to all the im- 
portant duties and acts of public and private life ; and it 
showed its genuineness and power by extending its influence 
to things comparatively trivial. It rendered him ever a wel- 
come and useful co-laborer in every religious and literary 
body of which he was a member. It made him always a wel- 
come and useful member of the Historical Society, at the 
meetings of which he has been, for forty-five years,- a very 
regular attendant; and to the important and widely useful 
labors of which he has been ever a willing contributor, in 
every form in which his services were asked. 

1868.] JANUARY MEETING. 113 

The chairman alluded to the decease of two Corre- 
sponding Members of the Society: viz., the Hon. James 
M. Wayne, Judge of the Supreme Court of the United 
States, whose decease, some months since, has but re- 
cently come to the knowledge of the Society ; and 
Robert Lemon, F.S.A., late of " Her Majesty's State- 
Paper Office," who died at Ovington Square, Brompton, 
London, on the 3d of January, 1867. 

Professor Washburn spoke in terms of high respect 
of the personal character and legal attainments of Judge 

Mr. Deane referred to the recent decease of another 
Corresponding Member, the Hon. Albert Gorton Greene, 
President of the Rhode-Island Historical Society, who 
died at Cleveland, Ohio, on the 3d instant ; and called 
upon Professor George "Washington Greene, a Corre- 
sponding Member from Rhode Island, who was present, 
to join in the tribute to the memory of his distinguished 

Professor Greene rose, and pronounced a warm eulo- 
gy on the character of the late Mr. Greene. 

A letter was read from Franklin B. Dexter, Esq., of 
New Haven, proposing to furnish this Society with a 
perfect copy of the Bachelors' " Theses" of Yale College, 
for 1740, in exchange for the less perfect copy of the 
Society's " Qucestiones,'" of the same college, for the same 

Referred to the Standing Committee, with full power. 

Mr. Ellis Ames referred to the communication ad- 
dressed to Mr. Winthrop by W. Noel Sainsbury, Esq., 
of " Her Majesty's Public Record Office," in London 



(noticed in the published Proceedings for March, 
1867), proposing to make a collection of the Reports 
of the Crown on the Acts passed by the Assemblies 
of the several Colonies ; and stated that Mr. A. C. 
Goodell, of the State Commission for printing the 
Provincial Statutes, had availed himself of the infor- 
mation contained in the Proceedings, and had em- 
ployed Mr. Sainsbury to make some transcripts of 
the " Reports " for the Commonwealth. Mr. Ames 
then exhibited the first instalment of these papers, 
recently received from London. 

Mr. Deane called attention to the volumes of the 
Narragansett Club (three in number), which had been 
presented to the Society, and spoke of the creditable 
manner in which they had been prepared ; and referred 
particularly to the preface, by Professor Dim on, to Cot- 
ton's Reply to Williams, in the second volume, as giving 
a fair statement of the reasons for the banishment of 
Roger Williams from the colony of Massachusetts. 

[The following letter, found among the papers of the late Mr. Quincy, was presented 
to the Society by his daughter, three years since. Its publication has been delayed for 
the reason expressed on page 97 of the Proceedings for January, 1865.] 

John Lathrop, D.D., to Judge Davis. 

Boston, August 10, 1809. 
•Dear Sir, — Agreeably to your request, I hasten to communicate 
the substance of a conversation with the late President Washington, 
relating to the inscription on a rock in Taunton river, which has been 
the subject of interesting research, from the first settlement of Euro- 
peans in this part of America. The learned have been divided in 
opinion respecting the origin of that inscription : some suppose the origin 
to be Oriental, and some Occidental. 


Many Gentlemen acquainted with the Oriental languages have 
thought several of the characters in the inscription bear a great resem- 
blance to some characters in the Oriental languages, particularly the 

From the valuable communication which was made by you, at the 
last meeting of the Academy, I perceive you favour the opinion that 
the inscription was made by the native Indians of our country. Having 
produced several important authorities, you mention the opinion of the 
late President Washington. 

As I am the only surviving member of the Corporation present at 
the time when the late President gave the opinion you mention, I now 
state to you the conversation on that subject. When that illustrious 
Man was on a visit to this part of the United States, in the autumn of 
1789, the then President and Fellows of Harvard College waited on 
him with an address, and invited him to visit the University in Cam- 
bridge. While in the Musseum I observed he fixed his eye on the full 
length copy of the inscription on a rock in Taunton river, taken by 
James Winthrop, Esq 1 , and is exhibited in the Musoeum for the inspec- 
tion of the curious. As I had the honour to be near the President at 
that moment, I took the liberty to ask him whether he had met with 
any thing of the kind ; and I ventured to give the opinion which several 
learned men had entertained with respect to the origin of the inscription. 
I observed that several of the characters were thought very much to 
resemble Oriental characters ; and that as the Phenicians, " as early as 
the days of Moses are .said to have extended their navigation beyond 
the Pillars of Hercules," it was thought that some of those early navi- 
gators may have either been driven off the coast of Africa, and were 
not able to return, or that they willingly adventured, until they reached 
this continent ; and thus it was found, " Thule was no longer the last 
of lands," and thus "America was early known to the ancients." 
Some Phenician vessels, I added, it was conjectured had passed the 
island now called Rhode-Island, and proceeded up the river, now 
called Taunton river, nearly to the head of navigation. While detained 
by winds, or other causes, now unknown, the people, it has been con- 
jectured, made the inscription, now to be seen on the face of the rock, 
and which we may suppose to be a record of their fortunes, or of their 

After I had given the above account, the President smiled, and said 
he believed the learned Gentlemen whom I had mentioned were mis- 
taken : and added, that in the younger part of his life, his business 


called him to be very much in the wilderness of Virginia, which gave 
him an opportunity to become acquainted with many of the customs 
and practices of the Indians. The Indians he said had a way of writ- 
ing and recording their transactions, either in war or hunting. When 
they wished to make any such record, or leave an account of their 
exploits to any who might come after them, they scraped off the outer 
bark of a tree, and with a vegetable ink, or a little paint which they 
carried with them, on the smooth surface, they wrote, in a way that 
was generally understood by the people of their respective tribes. As 
he had so often examined the rude way of writing practised by the 
Indians of Virginia, and observed many of the characters on the in- 
scription then before him, so nearly resembled the characters used by 
the Indians, he had no doubt the inscription was made, long ago, by 
some natives of America. 

The opinion of the late President so well agrees with the opinion 
which you have given, that I flatter myself you will be gratified in 
having the above testimony on a subject of considerable importance to 
men who have taste for this kind of research. 

With great esteem, I am 

your most obedient & 

very humble Serv 1 , 

John Lathrop. 

Hon l Judge Davis. 

The Honourable 

John Davis, Esq 1 , 


Rev? D^ J. Lathrop to 
Hon. Judge Davis, 
respect^ Dighton Rock. 
Boston 10 Aug 1 1809. 



A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held this 
day, Thursday, February 13, at 11 o'clock, a.m. ; the 
senior Vice-President, Col. Aspinwall, in the chair. 

The Recording Secretary read the record of the last 

The Librarian announced donations from : — 

The Department of State of the United States ; the 
Essex Institute ; the New Jersey Historical Society ; 
Oberlausitzische Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu 
Gorlitz ; the Trustees of the Free Public Library of New 
Bedford ; the Editors of the "Advocate ;" the Proprietors 
of the "Heraldic Journal ; " the Publishers of " Lippin- 
cott's Magazine;" John Appleton, M.D.; Mr. AbramE. 
Cutter ; Prof. Charles Drowne ; William Everett, Esq. ; 
Hon. Hugh B. Grigsby ; Clement H. Hill, Esq. ; Benjamin 
P. Johnson, Esq. ; William A. King, Esq. ; Mr. Joel 
Munsell ; Rev. William L. Ropes ; A. R. Spofford, Esq. ; 
Rev. Edwin M. Stone ; Joseph Willard, Esq. ; and from 
Messrs. Deane, Denny, Ellis, Green, C. Robbins, Shurt- 
leff, and Whitney, of the Society. 

The Committee appointed in June last to take into 
consideration the subject of the alleged claim of the 
Commonwealth to some "Hutchinson Papers," in the 
archives of the Society, submitted their Report through 
Dr. Ellis, its chairman. 


Report on the " Hutchinson Papers" 

The Committee of this Society, to whom was referred the 
subject-matter of the inquiries instituted last year by the 
Legislature of the State, relating to certain " Hutchinson 
Papers/ 7 so called, in the Society's possession, do now report 
as follows : — 

While engaged in the duty intrusted to them, your Com- 
mittee received from the acting President of the Society, Col. 
Aspinwall, an official communication of His Excellency the 
Governor, dated the 10th of January, 1868, and addressed to 
Col. Aspinwall, inclosing a Resolve of the Legislature of 1867, 
c. 85, requesting the Governor to apply to this Society for 
information on the subject of the " Hutchinson Papers," with 
a view to reclaiming for the Commonwealth any such papers 
supposed to have been alienated without authority from 
the State archives, and to be unwarrantably held by the 

Your Committee have thought that it would be both proper 
and convenient for them, and they therefore ask the permis- 
sion of the Society, to be allowed to give the Report, in the 
form of a Reply, in behalf of the Society, to the communica- 
tion of the Governor. 

To His Excellency Governor Bullock, — • The under- 
signed, a Committee appointed by the members of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society, have the honor to address your 
Excellency in reply to a communication received from you in 
reference to certain historical papers in the possession of the 
Society, which, it is intimated, may be the property of the 
State, and therefore reclaimable by it. 

Your Excellency refers to a Resolve of the Legislature of 
1867, chapter 85, requesting you " to ascertain whether any 
books, manuscripts, or other documents, now in the possession 


of the Massachusetts Historical Society, are the property of 
the Commonwealth ; and to take such measures as the Gov- 
ernor may deem proper to determine the question of title, 
and procure the restoration of the same to the library of the 
Commonwealth, and to report to the present Legislature the 
result of his action under this Resolve." 

Your Excellency adds, that, as the result of such informa- 
tion as you have obtained, you conclude " that the Massachu- 
setts Historical Society have in their possession certain 
papers, known as the * Hutchinson Papers/ which are the 
ones referred to in the legislative Resolve, and which were 
at one time the property of the Commonwealth. I am not 
aware of any way in which the title of the Commonwealth 
has ever been divested." 

Your Excellency therefore asks to be informed whether the 
Massachusetts Historical Society has such books, manuscripts, 
or other documents referred to in the Resolution of the Legis- 
lature, in its possession ; if so, that the Society give you a 
statement in detail of what they are, and inform you by what 
title, if any, the Society claims to hold them. 

The undersigned, fulfilling their commission, and seeking 
most respectfully to meet with full candor of reply your 
Excellency's question, might suggest that the indefiniteness 
and vagueness of the description of the alleged property of 
the Commonwealth, supposed to be improperly in the posses- 
sion of the Society, embarrass their answer. 

Whatever, among the masses of the manuscripts in the 
Society's cabinet, might have happened at any time, fitly or 
unfitly, by accident or by carelessness, to have been disposed 
either in loose files, or collected in volumes ; and whatever 
bound volumes might have been arranged in print or manu- 
script on the shelves, under the designation of " Hutchinson 
Papers," — would seem to be included under the vague and 
undefined terms of the legislative Resolve, and of your 
Excellency's description. 


In connection with this remark, the Committee would beg 
leave to refer — not without surprise at the sweeping, un- 
qualified, and wholly untenable character of the assertion — 
to a sentence in the Report of the Library Committee of the 
Legislature, May 30, 1867, on which followed the Resolve 
quoted by your Excellency. In that Report it is recited that 
the State came into possession, by purchase, of certain volumes 
known as the " Hutchinson Papers," and affirmed that they 
" were placed with the other records in the department of the 
Secretary of the Commonwealth, and remained there until 
1820, when Mr. Bradford — then Secretary, and also a member 
of the Historical Society — carried the papers which make 
the first three volumes, and gave them to the Society." 

The seemingly greater definiteness of the matter of the 
assertion in this Report is reached by an assumption and an 
inference, which, we respectfully suggest, are wholly unwar- 
ranted, and may be most successfully invalidated by a state- 
ment of facts on record, and by legitimate inferences to be 
deduced from them. 

The. Report assumes, that, previous to 1820, there was a 
certain series of volumes, or of documentary materials for 
volumes, in the archives of the State, obtained by purchase ; 
and that the papers which represent the first three volumes 
of that series were taken, by his own proper motion and 
without warrant, by a gentleman who was at the same time 
both Secretary of the Commonwealth and a member of the 
Historical Society, and were " given " by him to that Society. 
The inference is drawn that certain " Hutchinson Papers " 
now in the possession of the Society constitute that unwar- 
ranted " gift." 

In replying to your Excellency's questions, the undersigned 
take the liberty of also keeping in view the above statement, 
and of meeting its assertions ; hoping in this way to offer a 
full explanation of all the facts of the case within their knowl- 
edge, and a justification of the right of the Society to the 
property in question which it now holds. 


They believe that all the grounds and evidence on which the 
supposed claim of the State to the "Hutchinson Papers" in the 
Society's cabinet rests, are drawn from entries in the Society's 
records. They do not understand that the Commonwealth 
has any inventory, schedule, or calendar of such papers once 
in its archives, which can be identified, by title, contents, or 
definite description, as now in the Society's possession ; nor 
that there is any entry, in the journals of the State, of any 
transfer, loss, or known date of the disappearance of such 
papers from its archives. 

The records of the Society supply the sole ground of the 
supposed claim, which is the matter of your Excellency's 
question, as will appear from the following statement : In 
January, 1846, the Hon. J. G. Palfrey, being Secretary of 
State, and also a member of the Historical Society, found in 
its record of meetings and proceedings this entry, under date 
of October 28, 1819: — 

Voted, "that the letters found among the papers of Governor 
Hutchinson, and communicated by Mr. Bradford, be referred to the 
Publishing Committee." 

There is also the following entry, at the next meeting of 
the Society, January 27, 1820 : — 

" The additional letters, found by Mr. Secretary Bradford among 
the papers of Governor Hutchinson, and presented to the Society by 
the permission of the Governor and Council, were referred to the 
Publishing Committee." 

The following letter of Mr. Bradford accompanied the 
parcel of letters, &c, last referred to : — 

"Jan. 27 [1820]. 

" Dear Sir, — I send some very old letters and papers, selected 
from the files left by Governor Hutchinson, with a list of them.* 

* This list, having served its purpose, appears not to have been preserved, for" it is 
not on file. 



Some of them have been printed in Hazard, and some in Hutchinson. 
But many of them were never printed, and are valuable. I have 
obtained leave of the Council to present them to the Society. They 
are no part of the files of the Secretary's office. 

" Yours, A. Bradford." 

Addressed to " Rev. Dr. Holmes, Corresponding Secretary of the 
Society. Present." 

The records indicate that two additional parcels were 
received from the same source. On the strength of the sup- 
posed evidence thus furnished by these entries in the Society's 
records, Secretary Palfrey inferred that the contents of three 
volumes in the cabinet, labelled " Hutchinson Papers/' were 
the property of the State, and had been unwarrantably either 
abstracted or alienated from its archives. Accordingly, in 
the exercise of what he regarded as his official duty, he ad- 
dressed to the Society, under dates of January 1, 1846, Janu- 
ary 19, 1847, and July 27, 1847, three communications on the 
subject. Though his action was not, at the time, accompanied 
or followed by any legislative, process, the present inquiry is 
made to proceed upon it. 

Your Excellency's question will be substantially answered, 
so far as our means of information will allow, by an account of 
the volumes in the Society's cabinet, entitled the " Hutchinson 
Papers;" a sketch of their contents; a reference to the sources 
from which they were derived ; and by a comparison of them 
with the contents of the volumes in the State archives, with 
which the Committee of the legislature supposed them to con- 
stitute, before 1820, a connected series. 

The most recently acquired of the " papers " once belong- 
ing to .Governor Hutchinson, or loaned to him to be used in 
his historical labors, have been in the possession of the Society 
but one or two years short of half a century. Some of them 
have been in the cabinet since 1791. They have been con- 
tributed from many sources, in answer to appeals resulting 


from a design referred to in the following extract from the 
Society's records under the date of April 9, 1791 : — 

" The Committee who were appointed to inquire what collections 
could be made towards forming an Historical Library, delivered in 
lists from each member, as on file." 

By a vote of the Society in 1822, the late Hon. B. B. Nich- 
ols procured a mass of these papers, acquired at many times 
and from various sources, to be arranged, indexed, and bound, 
in three folio volumes, and labelled " Hutchinson Papers." 
They contain between two and three hundred distinct docu- 
ments, of the most varied and miscellaneous character and 

These number 466 folios, of which 170 folios are letters, 
and their addresses. Not one of them is in the handwriting 
of Governor Hutchinson. Only six of them are of later date 
than 1724, and only eleven of them of later date than 1700. 
Only a very few of them indicate that they ever belonged to 
Governor Hutchinson, though that most of them had once 
been in his possession might properly be inferred by a reader 
of his " History of Massachusetts," and from their soiled ap- 
pearance, occasioned by a fact soon to be mentioned. Indeed, 
the papers themselves are evidence that their rightful origi- 
nal or inheriting owners belonged to at least four generations. 
As will presently appear, they have not even the most remote 
connection with the other collection of " Hutchinson Papers " 
in the archives of the Commonwealth. 

Most of these papers bear marks of having been crumpled, 
soiled by mud, and trampled upon. They are evidently in 
good part the papers referred to by Hutchinson in the preface 
to the first volume of his history, in which he says : " Many 
ancient records and papers came to me through my ancestors, 
who for four successive generations had been principal actors 
in public affairs ; among the rest, a manuscript history of Mr. 
William Hubbard. I made what collection I could of the 
private papers of others of our first settlers." 


This manuscript copy of Hubbard's History, referred to 
by Hutchinson, was the only one in the country.* It was in 
the possession of the Historical Society in 1791, as appears 
by their " Introductory Address " to the public in the first 
volume of their published collections, 1792. The Society 
acknowledges that " this precious relic was among the rich 
contributions furnished by the Rev. Dr. John Eliot, from his 
invaluable collection of the treasures of American history 
and antiquities." — (2 Hist. Coll., vol. v., Prefatory Notice.) 

Dr. John Eliot, then, had in the last century presented to 
the Society one very valuable manuscript that had been in 
the possession of Governor Hutchinson, and had bestowed 
that among other "rich contributions." What were these? 
How came he by them ? Do not the present " Hutchinson 
Papers," in the possession of the Society, probably include 
very many of them, and justify the Committee's referring 
your Excellency to Dr. Eliot as one of the sources from which 
they were derived ? It is not, indeed, in their power to give 
a list, by titles and specifications, of these " rich contribu- 
tions " by Dr. John Eliot. The records previous to 1813 
made such detailed specification only of the gifts of persons 
not members of the Society. Those of members were 
mentioned only in lists made out by the donors, severally, 
which lists were put on file, and the files are now lost. But 
the fact that Dr. John Eliot's gift included the manuscript of 
Hubbard, known to have been in the hands of Hutchinson, 
and not afterwards challenged as at the rightful disposal of 
the donor, leads us to conclude that other Hutchinson manu- 
scripts came to us through the same channel. If it be asked 
how Dr. John Eliot came into possession of them, the follow- 
ing statement may help toward an explanation. 

* Besides the early transcript of Hubbard's History in the Society's Library, pub- 
lished in 1815 as two volumes of the Society's " Collections," there is in the Library 
what appears to be a rough draft of the work, in the handwriting, of the author. In 
this, the beginning, at "fol. 1," corresponds to chapter xviii. of the transcript of the 
History referred to. — Eds. 


In the preface to the second volume of his " History of 
Massachusetts" (first published in 1767), Governor Hutch- 
inson refers to the odium, " the unaccountable jealousy which 
had been infused into the minds of the populace " against 
him and his administration, and says that " being thus mis- 
guided, they expressed their resentment and rage by break- 
ing into my house, destroying and scattering all my furniture, 
books, papers, <fec." This was the work of the mob that sacked 
his- house in Boston on the evening of the 26th of August, 
1765. He gratefully acknowledges compensation for his loss, 
so far as it was reparable, by a generous public grant; "but," 
he adds, "the loss of many papers and books in print, as well 
as manuscript, besides my family memorials, never can be 
repaired. For several days I had no hopes of recovering any 
considerable part of my History [meaning the manuscript of 
his second volume], but, by the great care and pains of my 
good friend and neighbor, the Rev. Mr. Eliot [Dr. Andrew 
Eliot, the father and predecessor of Dr. John Eliot], who 
received into his house all my books and papers which were 
saved, the whole manuscript, except eight or ten sheets, 
was collected together, and although it had lain in the 
streets, scattered abroad several hours in the rain, yet so 
much of it was legible as that I was able to supply the rest, 
and transcribe it. The most valuable materials were lost." 

From this statement by Governor Hutchinson, it would 
appear that from among these mud-stained papers received 
for protection by Dr. Andrew Eliot, he reclaimed the manu- 
script of his second volume, to the subsequent fortune and 
present refuge of which, reference will by and by be made. 
For any thing that is said to the contrary, we may infer that 
he left the other papers in the keeping of his friend, as a safe 
depository of historic treasures, from whom they passed into 
the hands of his son, Dr. John Eliot, not as public property, 
but as documents appropriate for an historic cabinet, when- 
ever there should be one at hand. 


Of other papers described by Hutchinson as among " the 
most valuable materials " which " were lost," traditionary 
reports lead us to believe that some, at least, were picked up 
from the mud, found a safe, if not an appreciative, keeping 
with various individuals, and, together with the mass of the 
papers in the charge of Drs. Andrew and John Eliot, reached 
the cabinet of the Historical Society.* 

It is very certain that Hutchinson himself never regained 
possession of all his lost papers ; and it is probable that the 
larger portion of those which had been in his house in Boston, 
which were saved at all, never came into his hands again. 
The appearance and condition of the present collections sub- 
stantiate this supposition. 

In beginning the publication of a selection from the papers 
which had thus come into the possession of the Historical 
Society, the Publishing Committee of the Second Series of 
Collections, vol. X., say, on page 181, by way of preface, — 

" By direction of the Governor and Council of this Commonwealth, 
the Secretary of State has deposited with the Massachusetts Historical 
Society a large collection of documents, public and private, which 
appear to have been used by the late Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., 
Governor of His Majesty's Province of Massachusetts Bay, in the 
composition of that History, which will probably continue to be the 
best narrative of any of the settlements on this continent. Several of 
these papers are printed in the collection of papers by Hutchinson, 
sometimes called the third volume of his History. 

* The correctness of the position hei'e taken by the Committee is abundantly con- 
firmed by a memorandum of Dr. Belknap in the archives of the Society, which is 
brought to the notice of the Publishing Committee by the Assistant-Librarian, while 
this part of the "Proceedings" is passing through the press (July 23, 1868). The 
memorandum is labelled on the outside, also in Dr. Belknap's hand-, " Mss., list of, in 
the Hist. Cabinet — 1792 " ; and purports to be an inventory (covering about three and 
a half small quarto pages, numbered from " 1 " to "45,") of manuscripts in the Library 
or " Cabinet " of the Society at that early period. The first article in the inventory 
is, " Originals of Hutchinson's Collection." No. "41" is " Hubbard's History," which 
is also referred to in the Report as being in the possession of the Society in 1791. 
The whole list of titles is printed further on in this volume, among the proceedings of 
the meeting for August, 1868. — Eds. 


" Those here printed have been transcribed with great care, by- 
gentlemen of experience in the chirography of the different seasons of 
their date. In succeeding volumes, other pieces may enrich our 

Here, certainly, was a frank avowal of the source whence 
the Society had derived some of the miscellaneous papers 
which, by purchase, or by loan, or by discovery, or by having 
been used by Hutchinson, had been called by his name. 

It may be noted that the gift which Bradford, in his letter, 
affirmed that he made to the Society by " leave of the Coun- 
cil " is, in the above prefatory note in the Collections, said to 
have been made " by direction of the Governor and Council. 7 ' 
This discrepancy of statement the Committee has no means of 
explaining. It may have been simply an inadvertence of one 
of the Publishing Committee. But this frankness of avowal 
in print is utterly inconsistent with any supposition of a sur- 
reptitious or unauthorized transfer of the papers from the 
State archives to the Society's cabinet. 

The assertion of Secretary Bradford, above quoted, that 
the papers sent by'him " are no part of the files of the Secre- 
tary's office," draws a distinction between them and certain 
other papers of Hutchinson's, in his charge, which did belong 
to his files. What these other papers were, and how distinct 
their character, by what means and for what use the State 
had obtained them, and the reasons which influenced the 
Governor and Council to regard the public archives as the 
proper depository of them, will soon be made satisfactorily to 
appear. It is to be remembered and considered that Gov- 
ernor Hutchinson is known to us in the twofold character of 
a writer of history and a Royal Governor of this Province. 
Papers bearing his name derive their value and interest from 
both those employments. The collection of " Hutchinson " 
documents in the archives in the State House, is in four thick 
folio volumes. The first three of these, labelled "Hutchinson 
Correspondence," contain about 1,500 letters, the greater 


part of them written by Governor Hutchinson ; the remainder 
addressed to him, dated, the earliest in 1761, the latest in 
1774 ; with a few fragmentary accounts of legislative pro- 
ceedings and popular commotions, from his own pen. The 
fourth volume, labelled "Hutchinson's MS. History, etc.," 
contains the manuscript of the first part of volume second of 
his History, a long letter without address, copies of some 
documents relating to the witchcraft trials, — all these in his 
own handwriting, — and a copy of his commission as Gov- 
ernor, not in his hand. The manuscript of his history, is torn, 
trampled, and mud-stained. The other papers are not. The 
manuscript of his history having been restored to him, as 
before stated, by Dr. Andrew Eliot, had enabled him to put 
the work into print in 1767, and had remained in his posses- 
sion, separated, as may be inferred, from other papers once in 
his keeping. On the 1st of June, 1774, Hutchinson, having been 
superseded as Governor by General Gage, made his hurried 
flight to England. Expecting shortly to return, he left his 
house on Milton Hill, where he had been residing, with its 
contents undisturbed, in the care of his gardener. The public 
authorities did not meddle with his property till after the 
battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775. His estate was confis- 
cated by an act of the legislature. This, however, did not of 
itself give the State a title to his property, but simply insti- 
tuted a process like administration. But there is abundant 
evidence that the house had been entered, and books and 
papers removed without authority from anybody, in that in- 
terval, because sundry persons in the neighborhood were in 
the possession of the letter-books and other papers when the 
Committee of Safety ordered General Thomas, on the 29th 
of April, 1775, to take possession of the Hutchinson Papers. 
Sundry trunks containing papers were found in the pos- 
session of Colonel William Taylor, who lived about a mile 
from the house, and who is supposed to have been a friend of 
Hutchinson, and who had probably removed them to his own 


house when he found they were not safe where they had 
been left. The letter-books were found in the hands of Captain 
Hugh McLean, or his brother-in-law, Mr. John Boies, and 
these were the most eagerly sought for, as they were expected 
to implicate the Governor in the obnoxious measures of the 
British government. It was said at the time that these were 
found secreted in the sacks of beds. They were delivered 
up, and the State paid for them X50, as appears by a resolve 
of the legislature. 

The Provincial Congress appointed committees to examine 
these documents, and agents to continue the search for more 
papers. (See Journals of Provincial Congress, p. 224.) 
February 3, 1779, the General Court passed a special order, 
directing all persons possessing such papers, to lodge the 
same in the Secretary's office. 

The four volumes of " Hutchinson Correspondence," &c, 
in the State House, were arranged and bound by order of the 
legislature, about 1841. The interest exhibited by the public 
authorities in obtaining the papers of the Provincial Governor, 
as the above statement indicates, was not at all of an archseo- 
logical or antiquarian, but entirely of a political character. 
What papers were purchased by the State does not appear, 
by any contemporary or any subsequent record. But the fair 
presumption is, that the volumes in the State House contain 
them. There is no evidence that the State ever made any 
other purchase of Hutchinson Papers, or ever received a 
gift of such papers. There is no allegation that the State 
ever had any title or claim, or ever advanced a title or claim, 
to all the papers which have been obtained by the Society, or 
received from them a common title as " Hutchinson Papers," 
by being assorted and bound in volumes. The claim set up 
now for the State can presumably cover only the papers pre- 
sented by Secretary Bradford. The only evidence adduced 
by Secretary Palfrey, or by any other person, in support of 
the claim for the State, is a single paragraph in the Records 



of the Historical Society, in which, however, no particular 
papers are mentioned so as to admit of being identified 
Beyond this record there is not a particle of evidence that 
any one of the Hutchinson Papers, now in possession of the 
Society, was ever in possession of the State, or of any officer 
of the State, or in any place occupied by any officer of the 

This record fails to intimate, much more to establish, any 
right whatever on the part of the State. It does not even 
show that the State ever had any possession of the papers. 
The fact that papers happen to be within the Secretary's 
office (supposing some that we now have ever to have been 
there), unless they relate to the business of that office, or 
otherwise show that they pertain to the business of the State, 
does not show them to be in possession of the State. 

That the papers presented by Mr. Bradford, in 1820, may 
have been in the Secretary's office, is, perhaps, probable. If 
so, that they were there without being in the possession of 
the State, and without any claim of title on the part of the 
State, is also rendered probable, — 1. By the fact that Hutch- 
inson's papers having been scattered in the manner above 
related, the State, more than ten years afterwards, did not 
purchase all, and probably but a small part of them, and still 
possesses what may well be supposed to be the papers thus 
purchased. 2. By the fact that Bradford, who was a faithful 
and intelligent officer of the State, having been Secretary for 
twelve years, would never have assumed, even with the con- 
sent of the councillors, to give away the property of the State 
without authority. 3. By the fact that the Council of that 
day would not have given their consent to the alienation of 
the property of the State, without authority to do so. 4. By 
the fact that there is no record of any act of the Council, 
and that the record of the Society does not purport to show 
that any official measure was attempted or assumed about 
the transfer of any papers. Mr. Bradford was not Governor, 


and of course any consent of the Councillors to any act of 
his was not supposed to be official. But without what was 
supposed to be an official act, none of those gentlemen would 
have assumed to dispose of the property of the State. 

Indeed, the letter of Mr. Bradford, copied above, accompa- 
nying the papers contributed by him to the Society, makes it 
quite clear that those papers were not the property of the 
State. His distinct declaration is, that the papers do not 
belong to the files of his department. But any papers of this 
description, which were the property of the State, would at 
that day have belonged to the files of his department. There 
was then no librarian, nor any library, nor any other place of 
disposal for such papers, the property of the State, except 
the office of the Secretary of State. 

Secretary Bradford was himself engaged in writing a his- 
tory of the State, and the fair presumption is, that these 
papers had been handed to him by persons, or the descend- 
ants of persons, into whose possession they had come after 
their dispersion by the mob, — not as a gift to the State, but 
that he might use and dispose of them in the proper manner, 
if they were of any value to anybody. Being Secretary of 
State at the time they were received by him at his office, he 
may have incidentally consulted the Council, when met on 
some occasion of business, as to the proper disposition to be 
made of them. They agreed with him, that such papers had 
better be given to the Historical Society, rather than to the 
State, to which they were of little if of any importance. Upon 
this supposition, every thing is fair and consistent. But upon 
a supposition that the State had purchased them, or received 
them as a gift, how could Bradford say that they did not 
belong to the files of his department; and how could the 
councillors assume to act as a council, in a matter respecting 
which they had no authority? 

A supposition that Secretary Bradford and the Council of 
the Commonwealth violated their duty, in 1820, by giving 


away the property of the State, without any authority, is not 
warrantable by any circumstances of the case, and is not 
consistent with the character of those gentlemen. But the 
present claim of the State is based entirely upon such an 

The Society cannot consent to be instrumental in any 
degree in casting such a reproach upon the memory of those 
distinguished gentlemen. But this it must do, if it acquiesces 
in this claim. 

If the papers which came to us through Secretary Bradford 
were at the time supposed to belong to the State, the officers 
and members of this Society, who received them, might also 
be considered as implicated in an unwarranted transaction. 
The duty of the Society to them is equally clear. 

The Society cannot, therefore, consistently with its honor, 
yield to this claim. 

The unchallenged possession of these papers from 1820 to 
1847, claiming and using them as its own property, — a period 
in which such claims are ordinarily barred four times over, 
and more., — furnishes plenary evidence that the possession 
of the Society was, and ever has been, rightful. 

And the abandonment of the claim made by Mr. Secretary 
Palfrey, and its being suffered to sleep for a term embracing 
more than two other periods of statutory limitation, complete 
that evidence. 

The undersigned have thus, in the use of the means of 
information within their reach, offered to your Excellency 
such answers as they can give to your questions. They think 
they have indicated the origin and growth of two independent 
collections of papers, owned or used by Governor Hutchinson. 
They see no reason for believing that they ever formed one 
collection, or were contemporaneously in his possession. Still 
less will the facts warrant the theory that the two present 
collections once constituted a single series of documents, all 
in the State archives, and unwarrantably divided so as to 


" give v the Historical Society the matter of three volumes, 
the Commonwealth retaining the other four. . 

The mass of the papers in the Society's possession do not 
appear ever to have been in the charge of the public authori- 
ties : they are not related to Governor Hutchinson at all 
officially, nor do they bear the marks of his ownership. There 
may be even within the bindings some which he never saw. 
Most respectfully yours, 
(Signed) George E. Ellis. 

Emory Washburn. 
Joel Parker. 

After the reading of the Report, it was 

Voted, That the Report of the Committee on the 
subject of the "Hutchinson Papers," read this day, be 

Voted, That the part of the Eeport which is ex- 
pressed in the form of a letter to His Excellency, the 
Governor of the Commonwealth, be adopted by the 
Society as their answer to the communication of His 
Excellency, of the 10th of January last ; and that a 
copy of the same be transmitted to him by the acting 
President of the Society. 

The Chairman spoke of the death of Colonel Peter 
Force, of Washington, a Corresponding Member, who 
died on the 23d of January last, in his 78th year. 

Mr. Deane referred to the services of Colonel Force 
in the cause of history, and enumerated many of the 
publications with which he had been connected. 

An application from Mr. William P. Upham, of Salem, 
for leave to copy a chart apparently of the coast from 
Cape Ann to Marblehead, drawn in the first volume of 
Winthrop's manuscript History of New England, was 
referred to the Standing Committee, with full power. 


Mr. Folsom read a letter from our Corresponding 
Member, the Hon. William Willis, of Portland, soliciting 
a gift of the Society's publications for the Portland City 
Library, which had sustained a great loss by* the late 

On motion of Dr. Bobbins, it was 

Voted, That a complete set of the Society's publica- 
tions, so far as they can be spared, be presented to the 
City Library of Portland. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, March 12, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; 
Colonel Aspinwall in the chair. 

The Secretary read the records of the last meeting. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society ; the Essex Institute ; the 
Minnesota Historical Society ; the Royal University of 
Norway; the State Historical Society of Iowa; the 
Trustees of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology, &c. ; 
the Trustees of the Public Library of the city of Boston ; 
the Trustees of the Public Library of Taunton ; the Pub- 
lisher of " Le Courrier des Etats-Unis " ; the Publisher 
of " Putnam's Monthly Magazine " ; John Appleton, 
M.D. ; Henry Barnard, Esq. ; J. Carson Brevoort, Esq. ; 
William T. Brigham, Esq. ; Miss Mary Bryant ; Mr. 
Horace P. Chandler; Samuel Hazard, Jr., Esq.; Eev. 
N. W. Jones; Thomas S. Kirkbride, M.D. ; Maj. L. A. 



Huguet-Latour ; Rev. James H. Means ; Capt. George 
H. Preble, U.S.N. ; Messrs. C. Scribner & Co. ; Cyrus 
Woodman, Esq. ; and from Messrs. W. G. Brooks, 
Denny, Ellis, Green, Latham, Lawrence, Metcalf, Mot- 
ley, C. Robbins, ShurtlefF, Wheatland, and Whitmore, 
of the Society. 

Dr. Hedge presented, in the name of Mrs. William 
D wight, a beautifully bound copy of the Life and Let- 
ters of her son, the late Lieut.-Col. Wilder Dwight. 

Dr. Robbins called attention to a portrait of President 
William Henry Harrison, by Hoyt, which had been 
placed in the room ; saying that it had been presented 
to the Cabinet of the Society by the Hon. Albert 

Voted, That the thanks of the Society be returned for 
these acceptable gifts. 

The Corresponding Secretary, Dr. Bobbins, referred 
to a communication which he made to the Society in 
June, 1866, in connection with the report of the Stand- 
ing Committee in August following, relative to the manu- 
script of " Bacon's & Ingram's Rebellion " (reported 
in the Proceedings for those months, at pp. 244-246 
and 298, 299), and stated that he had forwarded the 
manuscript to Conway Robinson, Esq., Chairman of the 
Executive Committee of the Virginia Historical Society, 
to be deposited in the archives of that Society ; that he 
had received a letter from Mr. Robinson, acknowledging 
the receipt of the manuscript, which, by some mistake, 
had been delayed in its passage to him. 

The Chairman referred to the death, at Portsmouth, 
since the last meeting of the Society, of the Rev. Charles 
Burroughs, D.D., — a Corresponding Member of the 


Society, — and spoke of his many accomplishments, and 
of his interest in the objects of this association ; and con- 
cluded by offering the following resolution from the 
Standing Committee: — 

Resolved, That the members of the Society have heard with regret 
of the death of their respected Corresponding Member, the Rev. 
Charles Burroughs, D.D., late of Portsmouth, N.H., and desire to 
convey to the family of the deceased an expression of their sincere 
condolence with them in their great bereavement. 

Dr. Peabody united in paying a feeling tribute to Dr. 
Burroughs, whom he had known intimately at Ports- 
mouth for a period of twenty-seven years. 

The resolution was unanimously adopted. 

A communication from the family of the late Dr. 
Burroughs, to the Society, was read, inviting members to 
attend the funeral services, which would take place this 
day at Trinity Church, in Boston. 

Messrs. Thayer, Lawrence, and E. B. Bigelow Were 
appointed a Committee to make the annual examination 
of the Treasurer's accounts. 

Messrs. S. Lincoln, Ellis, and Thayer were appointed 
a Committee to nominate a list of officers to be reported 
to the annual meeting. 

Mr. R. Frothing ham asked permission to copy an ex- 
tract from the manuscript journal of Lawrence Ham- 
mond ; which was referred to the Standing Committee, 
with full power. 

Ex-Gov. Clifford spoke of a pleasant letter he had 
that morning received from the President of the Society, 
Mr. Winthrop, dated Pome, 24th February, and which 
indicated that he was in excellent health. 


Mr. Brigham made some remarks on the origin of the 
name of " Flint's Pond," bordering on the town of Graf- 
ton, Mass. 

The Origin of the Name of Flint's Pond. 

The most southerly of the range of ponds lying between 
Worcester and Shrewsbury, and extending into Grafton, has 
long been known by the name of Flint's Pond. The City 
of Worcester, and the towns of Shrewsbury and Grafton, 
bound upon it. Its Indian name was Quinsigamond, and it 
has long been a question whence it derived its present name. 
No family of Flint ever resided in the neighborhood, and 
none of the local historians have given us any information 
as to the origin of its name. 

Not long ago I had occasion to examine the manuscript 
diary of Tutor Flynt, in the library of Harvard College, and 
I discovered accidentally that he had made a record of several 
visits to Grafton in 1743, in one of which he spoke of nego- 
tiating with Messrs. Brigham and Drury, a committee, about 
a lease. It occurred to me at once that he might have owned 
land there, perhaps upon the borders of this pond, and that 
from him it might have derived its name. I accordingly pur- 
sued my investigations in this direction, and found from the 
records that my suspicions were well founded. 

Tutor Flynt was the son of Josiah Flynt, of Dorchester, and 
grandson of Henry Flynt, of Braintree. He was born in 1675, 
was graduated at Harvard College in 1693, and was appointed 
tutor in 1699. He remained in the discharge of that office 
till 1754, and died in 1760. Only about three hundred were 
graduated at the College before him, and he lived to a period 
which seems comparatively modern in the history of that 
institution. He was a member of the Corporation for many 
years, and spent his whole useful life in the service of the 



The facts connected with his ownership of land upon the 
borders of this pond are rather curious ; and though the re- 
cords give us no information of the motives, schemes, or 
expectations of the parties, yet they show us clearly what 
was actually done. 

On the 7th of November, 1668, " in ans r to the peticon of 
Mr. Elijah Corlet, the Court hauing considered of the peticon, 
& being informed the petitioner to be very poore, & the coun- 
try at present having many engagements to sattisfy, judge 
meete to grant him five hundred acres of land where he can 
finde it, according to lawe." 

What claim Elijah Corlet made upon the General Court, 
does not appear. It is well known that he kept the Grammar 
School at Cambridge, for many years, fitted young men for 
college, and in the " New-England's First Fruits," published 
•in 1643, he is spoken of as a teacher, " who hath very well 
approved himself for his abilities, dexterity, and painfulness 
in teaching and educating of the youth under him." He, 
however, did not get rich in his employment, and from the 
statement in the resolve it is difficult to say which was the 
poorer, he or the Colony. He, however, educated a son, 
Ammi Ruhamah, who graduated in 1670. Elijah Corlet died 
in 1687, at the age of seventy-six. 

Under the above resolve, authorizing him to take five hun- 
dred acres where he could find it, it appears that he found it 
on the southerly and easterly side of the pond above referred 
to. It was surveyed by Daniel Fiske, by order of Major- 
General Daniel Gookin, in 1674, and was bounded on the east 
by the river running from the pond, and extended more than 
half round it on the easterly and southerly sides. The Boston 
& Albany Railroad passes through this territory. 

It is not known that Master Corlet ever made any improve- 
ments upon this territory ; nor have we any information why 
he made this selection. It is not improbable that he did it 
by the advice of General Gookin, who frequently visited the 


Christian Indians at Grafton and the neighboring towns ; and 
it is well known that he was there this very year. Soon 
after this, Philip's War came on, and all efforts to colonize 
new territory ceased. It is probable that Master Corlet 
never troubled himself any more about it, and it is certain 
that it did not relieve him of his poverty. 

On the 17th of May, 1684, "the Court judgeth it meet to 
allow of the farme of fiue hundred acres of land, as in the map 
annext, to Mr. Elijah Corlett, by order of Mrs. Margery 
Flynt, that purchast the same, to whom it was granted, as 
in the Court's order therevnto affixed." 

Mrs. Margery Flynt was the widow of Henry Flynt, and 
the grandmother of Tutor Flynt. She lived but three years 
after this, and probably did nothing about this land, but to 
get the confirmation of her purchase from Elijah Corlet, by 
the General Court. 

We hear no more of this land till June 10, 1702, when 
the General Court resolved, " That the land described on the 
other side [a plan of this land] be allowed and confirmed as 
the five hundred acres of land which were given by the 
General Court of the Massachusetts Colony, in the year 1668, 
to Mr. Elijah Corlet, late schoolmaster in Cambridge, pro- 
vided it doth not interfere with any former grant of the 
General Court." 

On the 3d of December, 1714, Esther, the widow of Josiah, 
conveyed to her son, Tutor Flynt, this estate. This deed 
alleges that Margery Flynt and Josiah Flynt were joint pur- 
chasers of Elijah Corlet. On the 3d of March, 1721-22, Ami 
Printer and others, Indian Proprietors of Hassanamisco, the 
Indian name of Grafton, conveyed their interest to Henry 
Flynt. (See Suffolk Registry, lib. 39, fol. 2, 3.) 

These several conveyances and confirmations gave Tutor 
Flynt a full title to the five hundred acres. There were at 
this time no permanent settlements of the English in this 
neighborhood. Grafton was first settled in 1728, and in the 


following year Tutor Flynt enlarged his farm by the purchase 
of two hundred acres adjoining, making a farm of seven 
hundred acres. This estate he continued to own till 1754, 
when he sold it to Josiah Quincy, of Braintree, for <£500. 

It thus appears that from 1684, when Margery Flynt made 
the first purchase, to 1754, when Tutor Flynt conveyed to 
Josiah Quincy, a period of seventy years, the Flynt family 
owned this territory, and gave the name to this beautiful 
pond. In all the conveyances prior to the permanent English 
settlement, it was called by its Indian name, Quinsigamond. 
In conveyances subsequently made, it is described by its 
present name. Tutor Flynt was the only one of the family 
known to the permanent English settlers, and they undoubt- 
edly gave the pond its present name in honor of the distin- 
guished tutor of Harvard College. What improvements he 
made upon the land we have no means of knowing ; but it 
appears from his diary that he was a frequent visitor to 
Grafton ; that he was a personal friend of its minister, Rev. 
Solomon Prentice, who had been his pupil; and that he made 
a lease of a part or the whole of the property. He prepared 
a plan of the whole estate, describing it so accurately by 
natural boundaries, that there would be no difficulty, not- 
withstanding the changes which one hundred and forty years 
have made, of going upon the land and marking out the 
seven hundred acres of which the worthy tutor was the 


A special meeting of the Society was held at the 
house of Mr. Amory, No. 5, Joy Street, on Thursday 
evening, March 26, at half-past seven o'clock ; Colonel 
Aspinwall in the chair. 


Dr. Ellis, the Chairman of the Standing Committee, 
remarked that one purpose of calling this meeting was 
to consider the desirableness of holding special social 
meetings in the evening, in order to bring together 
those members of the Society who could not so con- 
veniently attend the stated meetings. The Society had, 
some years since, met in this manner, as guests of some 
member who had opened his rooms for this purpose ; 
and those occasions had proved pleasant and profitable. 

Another purpose was to consummate the arrangement 
for a course of lectures, by members of the Society, 
before the Lowell Institute ; a subject which had been 
brought before the members at a previous meeting. 

An animated and interesting discussion ensued, and 
was participated in by Messrs. Amory, Aspinwall, Brig- 
ham, Deane, Ellis, Folsom, J. C. Gray, Hillard, Peabody, 
Bobbins, Savage, and Waterston. 

The Recording Secretary observed that he had lately 
received a letter from the President of the Society, Mr. 
Winthrop, which, though not official, he would read at 
this social meeting, as it mentioned various topics more 
or less interesting to the Society : — 

Eome, 15th Feb., 1868. 
Dear Mr. Deane, — Your kind letter of the 16th ult. reached 
me last week, just as I was leaving Genoa. Two days of delightful 
carriage-drive, over the magnificent Corniche road, brought me to 
Spezia, and there we took the railroad to Pisa. Admiral Farragut 
had come round from Nice in the " Franklin" a day or two previously, 
and he and his wife came along to Pisa with us in the train. Our 
friend Mr. Folsom will be pleased to know that the Admiral spoke 
of him repeatedly during our journey, and always with the greatest 
interest and regard. We stayed long enough at Pisa to ascend the 
Leaning Tower, and to admire the exquisite Baptistery, Cathedral, 


and Campo Santo. The next day we came along to Florence, and 
passed a quiet Sunday ; and on Monday we took the cars for Perugia 
and Rome, arriving here on Tuesday night. On the following even- 
ing, our noble friend Mr. Peabody arrived. He had promised to 
meet me here this week, and he never fails to fulfil his promises. He 
brought with him from London, at my request, two copies of the new 
volume of Proceedings, which I had not seen before. I have exam- 
ined it with the greatest satisfaction. Thanks to your unfailing care, 
it furnishes an admirable opening of the long series which is destined, 
I trust, to commemorate the establishment of the Peabody Fund. I 
shall leave them behind me in Italy, in some public or private libra- 
ries where they will be valued. 

Yesterday, I met Mr. Peabody at Story's studio, where he is sit- 
ting for the London statue. The model is almost finished, and it 
promises to be one of the noblest portrait statues of the age, or 
indeed of any age. It is in a sitting posture, if I may so speak, 
and is one of the most lifelike figures I have ever seen. Massa- 
chusetts may well be proud to have in the London Exchange so fine 
a presentment of one of her worthiest sons, executed by another of 

Story's studio is full of admirable works. His Cleopatra, his 
Saul, his Medea, his Delilah, and, last, but even better than all, his 
Sappho, are all of great power and beauty, and are not only admired, 
but purchased at the largest prices, almost as soon as they are seen. 
There, too, I saw the exquisite marble statue of President Quincy. 
I saw it in the clay eight years ago, and wrote a letter to our lamented 
friend Livermore about it, which was printed in some of our Boston 
papers, in connection with the proceedings of the Alumni of Harvard. 
It has been greatly improved in the marble, and is as beautiful a 
work as any that can be found in the galleries of modern art. I 
should be sorry to doubt, and I will not allow myself to express a 
doubt, that it will be secured, at no very distant day, for our new 
Alumni hall. There, too, I saw the model of " the Everett," and was 
most agreeably disappointed in it. I have never seen the adverse criti- 
cisms which our papers have bestowed so abundantly on this statue ; 
but I have heard of them from many quarters. I know not how it 
may look in bronze, on its pedestal, and in the place where it has 
been set up ; but in the studio of the artist, as I saw it yesterday, it is 
a grand statue; full of life and vigor, and representing the original in 
the attitude in which I have seen him a hundred times, in some of those 


tours de force with which he so often wound up his orations. I might 
have wished that the right arm should have been either a little more 
or a little less elevated ; but the pose is perfect, and the whole effect 
such as I could have desired. It has attracted great admiration, both 
here and in Munich, where it was cast ; and not a few of our Ameri- 
can friends here, of the best taste, are amazed at the hostile criticisms 
it has elicited at home. 

Mr. Peabody is highly pleased with our new volume, and desired 
me to convey his acknowledgments to the Society. He is in better 
health than since his return from America, and promises to revisit 
his native land in the autumn of 1870. I am to dine with him at 
Story's (where he is staying) on the 18th, his birthday, the seventy- 
third, if I remember right, — so that he will be nearly seventy-six 
when he crosses the Atlantic again. Motley is here, and told me 
yesterday that he would send his two new volumes to our library 
without delay. . . . 

I observe the name of Ternaux-Compans on our list of Honorary 
and Corresponding Members. He died two years ago. I saw a 
good deal of his brother, Mons. Mortimer Ternaux, at Pau, — the 
author of the " History of the Reign of Terror," in six or seven vol- 
umes. He told me of his brother's death, and promised to send 
me a little resume of his life and labors, for transmission to our 
Society. But he was taken ill himself soon afterwards, and has sent 
me nothing as yet. I shall probably see him when I return to 
Paris in April. 

Mr. Jewett's death is a great loss to our Public Library, and I 
hardly know how such a vacancy is to be supplied. 

Pray remember me most kindly to Longfellow, the next time he 
inquires about me. He could not do a better thing than come over 
and pass next summer in Europe, where I should gladly meet him 
before I embark for America. I cannot say precisely in what month 
this may be ; but I have no idea of being absent another winter, and 
have already completed more than half of my tour. . . . 

Give my best regards to our friend, Col. Aspinwall, and tell him 
how much obliged I am by his discharge of the duties of the chair 
during my absence. Mr. Peabody and I were talking about him 

To-day the Carnival opened, and I stood on a balcony in the 
Corso, and saw the Governor of Rome and the Senators pass along 
in a stately procession. Afterwards commenced the customary pelt- 


ing with sugar-plums, or some things made to look like them, and 
at sunset, we had the racing of the horses. But there was no mas- 
querading, nor any thing which betokened real merriment. I met an 
old Washington friend, who told me that, forty-nine years ago, he was 
one of four maskers on the same occasion. The other three were 
Edward Everett, Theodore Lyman, and Augustus Peabody ! Remem- 
ber me to Grigsby when you write him, and tell him that I had a long 
talk with Mrs. Farragut about him and about his friend Gait the 
sculptor. Yours, ever sincerely, 

Robert C. Winthrop. 
Charles Deane, Esq. 


The Society held its annual meeting this day, Thurs- 
day, April 9, at eleven o'clock, a.m., Col. Aspinwall 
in the chair. 

The Secretary read the records of the last monthly 
meeting, and those of the special meeting. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Govern- 
ment of the Dominion of Canada ; the Town of Groton ; 
the Mercantile Library Association of Cincinnati; the 
New-England Historic-Genealogical Society ; the New- 
England Loyal Publication Society ; the Public Library 
of Cincinnati ; the State Historical Society of Wisconsin ; 
the Editors of the " Advocate " ; the Publishers of the 
" American Athenaeum"; the Publishers of the " Book 
Buyer " ; John Appleton, M.D. ; Rev. James F. Clarke, 
D.D. ; Charles H. S. Davis, M.D. ; Mr. Josiah L. Pair- 
banks ; Mr. J. A. Ferris ; A. T. Goodman, Esq. ; Charles 
H. Hart, Esq. ; Maj. L. A. Huguet-Latour ; Benj. P. 
Johnson, Esq. ; Joel Munsell, Esq. ; G. T. Richards, 


Esq.; Hon. Charles Sumner; Wm. H. Tuthill, ]Jsq. ; 
Hon. John Went worth ; and from Messrs. Denny, Ellis, 
Green, Latham, Lawrence, Motley, C. Eobbins, Savage, 
Smith, and Waterston, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter from W. 
H. H. Terrell, Adjutant General of Indiana, proposing 
to v exchange the official reports of his office for the pub- 
lished transactions of this Society. By a circular list 
which accompanied the letter, it appears that the vol- 
umes of Eeports issued, and to be issued, from that office 
are eight. 

The subject of this communication was referred to the 
Standing Committee. 

A letter was read from J. F. Williams, Esq., Secretary 
and Librarian of the Minnesota Historical Society, located 
at St. Paul, inquiring if it would be possible for that 
Society to procure a complete, or partially complete, set 
of this Society's publications ; and saying that all they 
could offer in exchange was some eight or nine volumes, 
with a few pamphlets. 

The application was referred to the Standing Com- 

John Gough Nichols, F.S.A., of London, was elected 

Corresponding Member. 

The Chairman stated that the Eeports of the annual 
Leeting were now in order. 

The Chairman of the Standing Committee, the Libra- 
rian, the Treasurer, and the Cabinet-keeper, presented 
their Annual Eeports, which were accepted, and referred 
;o the Committee on the publication of the Proceedings. 



Report of the Standing Committee. 

The Standing Committee of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society perform the duty assigned them, by recognizing in 
their Report such matters as have engaged their attention 
during the year ; a brief reference to which may have inter- 
est for the members. We have been reminded of the ab- 
sence of our respected and faithful President abroad, as we 
have missed at the meetings not only his regular personal 
attendance, but also those contributions in word or record, 
always interesting, and often very important and valuable, 
with which he has been wont so often to enliven the meet- 
ings, as drawn from his rich ancestral and private resources. 
His letters to several of the members, renewing his hearty 
hold upon the Society, and containing information and sug- 
gestions valuable in themselves, have furnished extracts 
which his correspondents have felt at liberty to read here 
as substitutes for his presence. 

During the year last past, death has taken from us two 
highly honored associates, the Hon. Charles G. Loring and 
Ex-Governor Andrew. Our whole community has recog- 
nized the pre-eminent merits and virtues of thesje two 
distinguished citizens. They have been affectionately com- 
memorated at the meetings of the Society, and. memoirs 
of them are in preparation for the Proceedings. 

Three new Resident Members, namely, Charles C. Smith, 
George S. Hale, and Charles W. Upham, — the last having 
formerly belonged to the Society, — have been elected during 
the year. We have also chosen Messrs. J. Anthony Froude 
and Leopold von Ranke, as Honorary, and Messrs. John Bruce, 
Brantz Mayer, Theodore D. Woolsey, and J. Winter Jones, as 
Corresponding Members. 

There are now two vacancies in the full complement of one 
hundred Resident Members provided for in our charter. 

The Treasurer's accounts present a most gratifying state- 


ment concerning the funds of the Society, their investment, 
and the income derived from them. From what is now in 
the treasury, and from what will soon accrue, the Society 
will be provided with the means of meeting its wants within 
the limited and moderate range of expense allotted to it. 
The money being thus available, it is hoped and expected 
that within the coming year the Society will publish a 
volume each of Collections and of Proceedings. Our sat- 
isfaction, however, must be limited within the terms just 
stated, — the sufficiency of the pecuniary means for the 
very restricted expenses to which we confine ourselves. 
There is a more extended work of publication inviting 
us, and, indeed, making a demand upon us, from which, 
it may be, those who would undertake it are withheld by 
the fact that the use of our moderate income is anticipated. 

The Librarian's Report will give detailed information in his 
department. The Committee, however, must follow the lead 
of their predecessors in emphasizing the statement of the 
deficiencies and needs of the library. It lacks many books 
that ought to have a place there ; and want of room for the 
treasures we already possess is a serious inconvenience. It is 
especially desirable that there should be a shelf catalogue, to 
make more easy the task of the periodical examination of the 
library. Many of the more valuable of the miscellaneous 
manuscripts are worthy of being disconnected from others. to 
which they are attached in a mass, and of being separately 
bound. As there are in our city and the neighborhood so 
many libraries of the most miscellaneous contents, the espe- 
cial aim of this Society, like that of several of the scientific 
and literary societies around us, should be to seek fulness 
and completeness in the class of books most appropriate to our 
shelves. There are very many works of our national and 
local annals which the Society does not possess. 

It is earnestly desired by several members of the Society, 
that the library should be open during the after part of the 


day, at least on some days of the week. For the past two 
years it has been accessible to members, only during those 
hours of the day which least suit the convenience of men 
engaged in the professions, or in active business. The Com- 
mittee therefore recommend that arrangements be made at 
once to meet the reasonable wishes of many of our associates. 

A regard to the same occupations and pre-engagements of 
so many of the members, making it difficult for some of them 
to be present at the regular monthly meetings held near the 
hours of noon, has led the Society at a recent social meeting 
at the house of our associate, Thomas C. Amory, to accord in 
the general expression of a desire, that in the course of the 
autumn and winter months the Society might be called to 
meet occasionally in the evening, either in its own halls, or 
at the dwellings of associates who have space to receive the 

In November last, under the careful and efficient oversight 
of the Recording Secretary, the seventh volume of the Pro- 
ceedings of the Society was published and put into the 
hands of the members. It contains much valuable and inter- 
esting matter relating to ancient and recent times and events. 
The Committee had hoped that another volume of Collec- 
tions — the one containing the "Mather Papers" — would 
have been laid upon the table at this annual meeting. The 
Chairman of the Committee for its publication, the Rev. Dr. 
Robbins, has been assiduously engaged in annotating and 
editing these papers, and he assures us that the printing 
is so far advanced that the volume will very soon be ready. 

The Committee on the publication of a volume of ancient 
papers relating to the colonial history of the country, of 
which Colonel Aspinwall is chairman, find the work to be 
laborious and perplexing, so that as yet they have not ad- ■ 
vanced far in it. 

There was a Committee, of which the late Hon. Edward 
Everett was chosen chairman, at his own suggestion, for the 


publication by the Society of a volume of original "Wash- 
ington Papers " in his possession, and not owned by the 
Society. At his decease, the Rev. E. E. Hale became Chair- 
man of the Committee, but asked to be excused. It is under- 
stood that some obstacle intervenes in the submission of the 
papers to the use of the Society. 

The Committee on the " Winthrop Papers," have selected 
materials from those rich stores for a third volume in that 
series, which will be prepared for the press as soon as the 
state of the funds will admit. 

It should be noticed with especial gratification, that the 
last volume of the Proceedings of the Society, above- 
mentioned, which contains an account of its action on the 
receipt of the munificent gift of Mr. George Peabody to its 
endowment funds, was published from the income of his 
donation, and is the first of a long series, as we may hope, 
of these volumes. 

In less than three years, — that is, on March 1, 1871, — the 
lease of the lower floor of this building to the Suffolk Sav- 
ings Bank will expire. In expectation of and preparation 
for that event, which will put all the parts of this building 
at the disposal of the Society, may it not be well, in the 
mean while, to have in view efforts for such an increase of 
the funds of the Society, as will enable it at that time to turn 
the whole building to its service, and to re-invest the trust- 
funds which were used to redeem the mortgage on the build- 
ing ? If the Society could secure that result, it would relieve 
itself of the embarrassments and annoyances which arise from 
the crowded condition of the shelves, walls, and cabinets. 
There is certainly material enough for occupying every 
apartment in the edifice. That expansion, too, would doubt- 
less tend to an increase of acquisitions. 

It is known to members of this Society who are at the 
same time members of the American Academy of Arts and 
Sciences, that the suggestion has been more than once in- 


formally made and heartily welcomed in meetings of the latter 
body, that this Society and the Academy might wisely and 
to mutual advantage unite in providing a building for their 
joint occupancy. The needs of both bodies are so similar, 
including a library room, gallery, hall, and office, all of which 
might be disposed on a single story of a spacious fire-proof 
building, that they might well divide the expense of a site, 
foundation, and roof. The Committee venture to refer to this 
suggestion, believing that this Society will also welcome it. 
It is not unlikely that a proposition may be made, from either 
body, for a more deliberate consideration of the matter. The 
question, therefore, may be regarded as already opened. 

Two subjects of especial concern to the members of this 
Society have recently occupied their attention at its meetings. 
The first is the proposed preparation, by some of the mem- 
bers, of single lectures on subjects chiefly relating to early 
Massachusetts History, to compose a course for delivery in 
public, some time in the coming autumn or winter. Our 
associate, Mr. John Amory Lowell, has kindly and heartily 
facilitated the arrangements by offering the privileges of the 
Lowell Institute for that purpose. The Standing Committee, 
as at present constituted, to whom the necessary measures 
have thus far been intrusted, are charged with the further 
direction of the business. The subjects for the lectures have 
been assigned, and up to this time most of them have been 
accepted by those asked to deal with them. The approbation 
which this project has already received, by finding so. cordial 
a reception and ratification in the Society, will be a great 
incentive to those intrusted with the conduct of it to labor 
diligently for its success. 

The other subject of recent and of present interest to 
members concerns an obligation imposed upon us to prove 
the right of the Society to the possession of certain manu- 
scripts in the Cabinet, bound and arranged in three volumes, 
under the title of " Hutchinson Papers." The Legislature of 


the State, through his Excellency the Governor, has called 
upon the Society to make a statement on the subject, which 
has been duly prepared by a special committee appointed by 
the Society, and which, having been approved, has been sent 
as its answer in form. His Excellency has laid the Report 
before the Legislature, but, up to this date, no action has 
been taken upon it. The Committee who prepared the 
Report have been charged with the conduct of any further 
measures which may be necessary. 

Respectfully submitted. 

George E. Ellis, 


April 9, 1868. 

Annual Report of the Librarian. 

If not as numerous as in some former years, the donations 
since the last annual report have been varied and valuable. 
They consist of — 

Bound volumes 300 

Pamphlets 2,058 

Broadsides 23 

Bound volumes of Newspapers 39 

Unbound volume of „ 1 

Separate numbers of „ 143 

Manuscript volumes 7 

Smaller Manuscripts 42 

Maps 6 

Photographic copies of Manuscripts 34 

In addition to these, five volumes have been acquired by 
purchase ; ten volumes have been added by exchange for 
fourteen duplicates, and ten others by exchange for the publi- 
cations of the Society, and two unbound volumes of newspa- 
pers by subscription. 

It continues a subject for regret that no fund has been 
created for the purchase of historical publications. If not 
procured as they issue from the press, works of a limited 


number of copies are absorbed into other public and private 
collections, and the opportunity is lost for obtaining them. 
Many that afford no particular pleasure to read, may prove of 
consequence to future historians. Certainly every book and 
pamphlet connected with American history should be upon 
the shelves of the library. In this department the aim 
should be absolute completeness. It is also to be wished, 
that, if not all historical and biographical productions, ancient 
and modern, the more important should form part of our col- 
lection, together with such works of travels and statistics as 
serve to throw light upon historical subjects. 

Contributions, indeed, in no branch, either of science or 
literature, should be discouraged. If the space at present 
is inadequate, before many years accommodation will doubt- 
less be provided, admitting of methodical arrangement for 
whatever is bestowed. Were the collection now what we 
anticipate it will become, it would be a more constant resort 
for the members of the Society, and more intimate inter- 
course would promote its general objects. So few of the 
current works of the day are added to the collection, that 
members seek in other libraries what they wish to read. In 
a location more compatible with ample space, room would be 
found not only for historical, but standard, works. Our public 
libraries are now in the centre of the city. As population 
spreads, they will be more widely distributed, and even col- 
lections for specialties like this might be supplied to advan- 
tage with the better class of general literature. 

Few communities are more highly favored than our own 
in the extent and variety of public libraries. Some of those 
for popular circulation are placed necessarily under rigid 
rules, which preclude their proving of much avail to students 
in their researches, whether pursued for thoroughness of 
information or purposes of authorship. In others, instituted 
for specific objects, the use of the books is confined to a 
limited number of proprietors. This admits, without loss or 


detriment, of free range over the shelves ; greater indul- 
gence as to the number of books to be taken out, and as to 
the time they may be retained. Books are of no value but 
to use ; and ours being essentially a working collection, com- 
posed of works not generally owned by private individuals, — 
very rarely called for, but invaluable when they are, — mem- 
bers should be afforded every facility to cull from them what- 
ever they may need. 

A by-law exists, subjecting to fine the detention of books 
beyond a month. Where they are relied upon as authority in 
the preparation of an historical work, it is impossible to tell, 
so many delays attend progress through the press, when they 
may be required for correction of proof. It is hardly worth 
while to expose them to wear and chance in sending them to 
and fro, when they would probably never be called for, if 
retained. This modification is suggested in the rules. Any 
member desiring a volume retained beyond the limit stated 
in the by-law, may leave the title with the librarian, whose 
duty it shall be forthwith to apprise the delinquent to whom 
it is charged. It is also proposed, that, at the annual exam- 
ination of the library, members may transmit lists of books 
which they wish to retain, instead of restoring them. For 
the safety of the collection, and as a check upon forgetful- 
ness, a period perhaps of six months should be fixed. After 
notice, the fine should be imposed, or members required to 
replace works that are lost or injured through their neglect. 

Books, if sometimes mislaid, rarely perish ; and instances 
occasionally occur where they re-appear after many years. 
There are very few missing now. Care is taken to complete 
or replace broken sets. The books and pamphlets are sys- 
tematically distributed and in good condition. By judicious 
re-arrangement, place has been found for all accessions, and, 
by the change recommended last year in the upper rooms, 
may still be for years to come. Without being unduly im- 
portunate, zeal and readiness to improve opportunity is con- 




stantly extending the number of donations. The steady 
growth of the library, depending as it does wholly upon bene- 
factions, is very encouraging. 

Our own members have evinced the past year their accus- 
tomed liberality and thought for the interests of the society 
by frequent contributions. Their own publications, as is 
reasonable, if not obligatory, have been generally bestowed, 
and assurance thus provided for their preservation from the 
ravages of time. The President has presented a volume of 
his occasional addresses, adding to his well-earned laurels. 
Our distinguished associate, Mr. Motley, has sent us his 
" History of the Netherlands," the third and fourth volumes 
of which have been recently published. All who have read 
them, speak of them in the same terms of praise elicited by 
his earlier volumes ; and his celebrity, as that of American 
authorship generally, must gain both in extent and lustre by 
this new success. Mr. Upham, whose connection with the 
Society has been again renewed, has enriched the collection 
with his sad but thrilling narration of that darkest era in our 
provincial life, when kingly rule usurped upon our earlier 
democratic charter. The first volume of the " Life of General 
Greene," by his grandson, a Corresponding Member, comes 
seasonably to rekindle the common sentiments of nationality; 
Greene being alike identified with the North, where he was 
born, and the South which he defended. 

If no such spur be wanting to scholars who are honored 
by association with the most distinguished names in Amer- 
ican literature, it may afford satisfactory evidence that our 
members are not insensible to their obligations, or wholly de- 
generate from the example set before them, if, in the annual 
reports of the Librarian, recent monographs by them should 
be enumerated. It will impress more forcibly upon their 
minds the propriety of placing in the library copies £>f 
their works. Our claim, moreover, will be thus in some 
measure vindicated, to transmit unimpaired, from the past 


to the future, the fair fame of an institution whose members 
for the past eighty years have given to the world so many 
hundreds of volumes. These lists, continued for any series 
of years, will exhibit in chronological order a general view 
of many American historical publications. They may perhaps 
prove another incentive to toil in a vineyard which still offers 
rich harvests to aspirants who will gather them. 

In the preface to the second volume of the Catalogue 
are enumerated some of the more important series of our 
manuscript possessions. These are very numerous, and of a 
value not to be estimated. From the earliest, bearing date in 
1379, they cover nearly five centuries. Among them are 
missals, treatises, medical and theological, before the com- 
positor superseded the scribe. In early colonial remains 
they abound, including numberless letters, sermons, and 
diaries ; the original of Winthrop's " Journal," the first draft 
of Hubbard's " History," with an early transcript, and a 
recent copy of Bradford. The collections of Hollis, Prince, 
Pemberton, Hutchinson, and Belknap;' the correspondence 
of Richard, Increase, and Cotton Mather, in process of pub- 
lication by the Society, and forming part of the Prince 
Collection, now deposited in the Public Library ; the " Trum- 
bull " and u Heath Papers," illustrating the revolutionary 
epoch ; the diary of Dr. Peirce, of the present century, 
— -are all precious treasures confided to our keeping, which, 
if lost, could never be replaced. Subjoined is a list, some- 
what more full than that in the Catalogue, of our manuscript 

From these sources, more indeed than from any publications 
of the period, after-times gain insight into historical events, 
and learn their true significance and actuating causes. In 
America, where public authorities pay less heed than they 
ought to the preservation of State and national archives ; 
where but few hereditary abodes in private families garner 
up and transmit from father to son the accumulations of sue- 


cessive generations ; where vast amounts of historical material 
are constantly perishing by casualties, from want of appre- 
ciation, or from their becoming an incumbrance, — it is the 
paramount obligation of societies constituted like our own, 
to invite the deposit of whatever by chance may be of service 
to the future. The character of this Society justly inspires 
faith that such deposits will be guarded with sacred care, and 
that never, where scrupulous delicacy or regard to reputation 
forbids, shall they be exposed to public gaze. By this assur- 
ance alone, and the hold the Society shall retain upon public 
opinion by conscientious fidelity in the trust, and by the adop- 
tion of regulations to prevent the possibility of mistake, will 
persons possessing valuable documents be disposed to intrust 
them to our custody, instead of destroying them. The rules 
of the Society render imperative the consultation of manu- 
scripts in the presence of the Librarian ; and copies or extracts 
are prohibited without the consent of the Society. These 
regulations may seem unnecessarily rigid j but whoever can 
appreciate the considerations stated must acquiesce in their 
propriety. Even when of a nature to warrant their publica- 
tion, it is the function of the Society to supervise their prepa- 
ration for the press. Historical fidelity demands that no 
ancient manuscript shall be made by emendations to signify 
other than its exact purport, — a conscientiousness sometimes 
carried to extremes in reproducing faults, by an unwillingness 
to modernize. In the case of recent documents, more latitude 
as regards verbal corrections may be allowed, since justice 
to the memory of the authors in a use of their writings which 
they never contemplated requires that the proof should be 
corrected as they would have corrected it, and errors or 
blemishes in grammar, rhetoric, or orthography set right. 
But this is a responsibility not to be delegated, which alone 
the Society can determine; and, if exception be taken, the 
Society must pray a candid consideration of the principles that 
govern it, before it is deemed obnoxious to censure. 


The Society has been heretofore ever loyal to its obliga- 
tions. Where papers have found their way into its cabinets 
belonging to others, prompt restitution has been made. Of 
its own motion it lately returned, after half a century of 
quiet possession, to the Virginia Historical Society, a manu- 
script account of Bacon's and Ingram's Rebellion, printed 
in its Collections.* The present state of the controversy as 
to the ownership of the Hutchinson papers has been sub- 
mitted by the committee instructed to report upon it. There 
seems no good ground to believe that our right to them can 
be reasonably disputed. The few papers in the volumes 
which were ever in the State House, are demonstrated never 
to have belonged to the Commonwealth, and were given to 
the Society by those who had good title to do so. While 
never shrinking from any fair and impartial investigation, it 
is the manifest duty of the Society not to allow itself to be 
dispossessed of what it holds in a fiduciary capacity for his- 
torical purposes. 

Our manuscripts, arranged in their present order by Dr. 
Appleton, are in presses beneath the books, in the apartment 
which forms the entrance to the Dowse Library ; they are 
labelled and numbered, and for the most part are in volumes. 
More than once a catalogue has been attempted ; but, after 
slight progress, has been abandoned, from pressure of other 
duties, or from motives of economy. 

A full card catalogue has been made of the "■ Belknap 
Papers," and a few others. If a complete catalogue must 
be deferred, the propriety is suggested of a large record 
volume into which should be entered descriptive accounts 
of each parcel and book, and, in another of similar dimen- 
sions, an alphabetical index. As occasion is presented, refer- 
ence to the contents of particular volumes could be entered 
in the index, and this at regular intervals be revised and 

* See Proceedings for June, 1866, pp. 244, 245, 298. 


reduced to alphabetical precision. When any paper is printed, 
the volume and page should be minuted on the paper, and 
also noted on the index in ink of some particular tint. It 
would be expedient to have, besides, a card catalogue of the 
volumes, and when the supplemental volume of the general 
catalogue is printed, for which there is already abundant 
materia], and which should not be postponed beyond 1870, 
these could be comprehended in it with the books and 

When this is perfected, the Society can better take the 
initiative in requesting the co-operation of similar institu- 
tions and individuals in the preparation of a general index 
to all the manuscript treasures of an historical character in 
the country. Such co-operation they might well request 
without delay in urging upon the attention of the National 
Government better arrangements and greater security for the 
precious documents in its possession. Washington, Jefferson, 
Madison, and Monroe papers, documents of all kinds, of price- 
less value, were formerly kept without much care in the 
Rolls Office ; and it is believed that now, as a new edifice is 
in preparation for the State Department, it is a fitting time 
for historical societies to request a better organization of the 
national archives, so that they may be not only safe from de- 
struction, but more accessible. 

Thomas C. Amory, 


List of the Principal Manuscripts belonging to the Massachusetts 
Historical Society.^ 

Winthrop's History of New England, from 1630 to 1643. Vols. I. 
and III. (the second volume having been destroyed by fire many years 

« * There has been no attempt at classification or chronological arrangement in this 
list, but the manuscripts are generally described in the order in which they are placed 
in the Society's Cabinets. A large number of these papers have been printed. 



since). Also, a copy of the whole manuscript, made by Gov. Jonathan 
Trumbull, of Connecticut. 

Hubbard's History of New England. Of this there are also two 
copies : one being a rough draught in the handwriting of the author ; 
the other a corrected copy, with interlineations, &c, by Hubbard. 

Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation. A copy from the 
original in the Library of Fulhara Palace. 

The Trumbull Papers, in 23 volumes. Of these, 20 volumes con- 
tain correspondence and papers relating to the Revolutionary War; 
vol. 21, papers referring to the " Susquehanna Lands " of Connecticut ; 
vol. 22, letters and papers of the dates 1659 to 1699 ; and vol. 23 is 
composed principally of printed papers, broadsides, &c. An additional 
volume contains letters from Washington, mostly to Gov. Trumbull, of 
date from 1779 to 1783, many of which are yet unpublished. Another 
volume, embracing Military Returns, 1752 to 1784, belonging to this 
series, has been bound within a few years. 

Gov. Trumbull's Letter Books, 1754 to 1779. 4 vols., containing 
letters to and from Trumbull. 

The Letter Book of William Samuel Johnson, agent of the Colony 
of Connecticut at London, 1766-1771. 

Josiah Cotton's Indian Vocabulary, in 3 volumes, arranged and 
indexed by Benj. R. Nichols, Esq. 

An Italian Translation of the JEneid of Virgil, by Annibal Caro. 

Richard Mather's " Plea for the Churches of New England." The 
original manuscript, with the " Imprimatur " of Joseph Caryl and 
Henry Seyle, 1646. 

A volume containing a letter of Thomas Shepard, of Cambridge, 
with papers relating to Witchcraft, by Cotton Mather; Edmund 
Quincy's "Hemp Husbandry;" and a Hebrew Grammar, by Rabbi 
Judah Monis, transcribed by Jonathan Belcher. 

" The Whole Body of Divinity in a Catecheticall way, handled by 
M r Sam 11 Stone, Teacher of the Church in Hartford, N.E.," transcribed 
by Rev. Samuel Willard, of the Old South Church. At the end of 
the volume is the following inscription: " Deo soli honor et gloria: 
Finished Sept. 13. 1697, p r S. Willard." 4to. pp. 540. 

" Compendium Physicae," by the Rev. Charles Morton ; of which 
there are four manuscript copies, transcribed, respectively, by John 
Webb in 1677, by Daniel Greenleaf in 1697, by George Corwin in 
1700, and by Jeremiah Gridley in 1721. 

John Cotton's " Doctrine of the Church," in his own handwriting; 


and, in the same volume, " a Discourse touching the Covenant betweene 
God and Man," &c, also by Cotton. 

Records of the Coffin Plates made by William Howe, of Boston 
between 1799 and 1809, giving the dates of the deaths of many of the 
principal inhabitants dying in that time. 

Letters from Rev. J. Erskine, in a volume which bears the auto- 
graph of " Thomas Prince Junf, 1745 ;" and the following note by his 
father: "Thomas Prince, Boston, 1748: my d r son dying Oct. 1. 

" A bundle of Myrrh for drooping Christians : " a sermon preached 
by Rev. Mr. Bragg in 1653. 

A quarto volume in the handwriting of Capt. Robert Keayne, 
1639, entitled, " Ml" Cotton our Teacher his Sermons or expositions 
vpon the Bookes of the New Testament ; " containing also the proceed- 
ings of the Church, in cases of discipline, particularly that of Mrs. 

Stephen Sewall's Oration at the Funeral of President Holyoke in 
1769 : inscribed " to Madam Holyoke." 

Journal of Joseph Andrews, Hingham, 1752-1787. 

Capt. Silas Brown's Orderly Book, Crown Point, 1760. 

"Journal de Castorland," kept by Simon Desjardins, one of the 
Commissioners of the Company, 1793-96 ; an abstract of which was 
published in the Proceedings of the Society for 1864, and which is 
soon to be published entire by Dr. F. B. Hough. 

Three volumes of " Belknap Papers," not included in the recent 
donation of Miss Elizabeth Belknap. Vol. L, 1665-1745, commencing 
with " The Poore's Book of the Parish of St. Hellin's," London, 1665 ; 
and containing many letters of Joseph Dudley, and papers relating to 
the Province of New Hampshire. Vol. II., Feb. to Oct. 1745, con- 
tains papers relative to the Expedition against Louisburg of that year. 
Vol. III., Oct. 1745, to Sept. 1776, comprises many of the same 
papers, with a miscellaneous collection of later date. 

"The Prince Papers," 1678-1754, containing Anthony Thatcher's 
narrative, printed in Mather's " Illustrious Providences ; " and the 
same narrative in Increase Mather's handwriting : the volume contain- 
ing also several letters from Cotton Mather to Thomas Prince. 

A Copy of the Records of the First Church in Boston from 1630 
to 1680, with the Baptisms at the Old South Church. 

Letters to and from Rev. Benjamin Colman, D.D., 1708-1747. 

Letters and Papers relating to the Town of Boston, 1631-1783. 


Letters and Papers from Rev. Thomas* Prince's Collection, 1686- 
1720, not belonging to the New-England Library, containing letters of 
Edward Randolph, Thomas Hinckley, Joseph Dudley, President John 
Rogers, John Cotton, of Plymouth, and others. 

" The Winslow Papers." 2 vols. 1737-1766. . » 

" Miscellaneous Papers : " including the " Sale Papers," papers re- 
lating to Charlestown Church, Hingham Church papers, Stoddard and 
Waldo papers, and Richard Penn's and Gideon Hawley's letters. 

"Miscellaneous Papers," 1632-1795: containing a letter of the 
wife of GofFe the Regicide, printed in the Collections ; papers relating 
to Philip's War ; a paper by John Eliot the Apostle ; an autograph 
of Theodore (NeuhofF), king of Corsica ; a communication from Gov. 
Trumbull to Baron Van der Capellen, dated in August, 1779, giving an 
account of the settlement of the country, and the principal events of 
the Revolutionary War to that time, &c. * ♦ 

The Andrews and Eliot Letters : comprising the Correspondence of 
John Andrews, lately printed in the Proceedings of the Society ; and 
letters to the Rev. Drs. Andrew and John Eliot, from Eben. Hazard, 
David Ramsay, Samuel Miller, and others. 

Thomas Pemberton's Manuscript Collections ; viz., Observations on 
Parties, 1 vol. ; Letters relating to the Revolution in Massachusetts 
Bay, 2 vols. ; Massachusetts Chronology, 4 vols. ; Description of Bos- 
ton, 1 vol.; and 15 volumes, besides smaller fasciculi, of miscellaneous 

Two volumes of " Pepperrell Papers," 1699-1779, but mostly of 
the date of 1745. 

Proceedings of Councils of War, Instructions, &c, in the Expedi- 
tion against Cape Breton in 1745. 

Col. Israel Williams's Letters and Papers, in two volumes. Vol. I. 
(1730-1755) relating principally to Indian affairs; Vol. II. (1756- 
1780) containing papers relative to the foundation of Williams College, 
and Correspondence with Gov. Hutchinson, including many letters of 
the Governor. 

Capt. Moses Greenleaf's Military Papers, 1776-1780. 

"Letters and Papers," 1632-1678: containing the Declaration of 

the Council for New England for the surrender of the Great Charter, 

in 1635 ; a letter from James Hopkins to Gov. Winthrop, &c. 

"Letters and Papers," 1679-1700. "Letters and Papers," 1761-1776. 

„ 1701-1720. „ „ 1777-1780. 

„ „ 1721-1760. „ „ 1780-1&24. 



Two volumes of Spanish* manuscripts, one containing Treaties of 
Peace negotiated in the reign of Charles II., of Spain; the other, 
a history of the reign of the same monarch. 

The narrative of Jolley Allen, 1776. 
#A Latin manuscript volume, in the handwriting of Ezekiel Cheever. 

Manuscript of Peter Burr, 1698-99. 

The Commonplace book of Henry Flynt, for sixty years a member 
of the corporation of Harvard College. 

A memorandum-book of Gov. Jonathan Trumbull. 

Brattle's Compendium of Logic, transcribed by Timothy Lindall. 

A Collection of Letters and Papers, 1777-1780. 

" The Hollis Papers," containing the correspondence of Thomas 
Hollis with President Holyoke, Jonathan Mayhew, D.D., Andrew 
Eliot, D.D., and others, 1759-1771. 

"Miscellaneous Papers,'" in six volumes; viz., Vol. I., 1628-1691 ; 
Vol. II., 1692-1728; Vol. III., 1729-1744; Vol. IV, 1744-1768; 
Vol. V., 1769-1793; Vol. VI., 1794-1850. 

"The Otis Papers." Vol. L, 1701-1757; Vol. II., 1758-1769; 
Vol. III., 1770-1800. 

A Copy of the Massachusetts Colonial Charter, attested by Gov. 
Winthrop, 1643-4. 

Letter from the First to the Third Church in Boston, dated 19, 6 mo 

Minutes of the Debates and Proceedings of the House of Com- 1 
mons, from March, 1627-8, to 26 June, 1628. 274 folios. 

An Indian Vocabulary, by Rev. Samuel Danforth, of Taunton. 

Gov. Jonathan Belcher's Letter Books, in 8 vols., 1731-1755. 

Benjamin Walker's Diary, in 3 vols., folio, from 1725 to 1747. 

Minutes of Proceedings of Congress, and Letter Book of John 
Hancock, containing letters from Washington, 1775-1781. 

Thomas Fitch's Letter Book, 1723-1733. 

A volume containing the original Order signed by King William 
III. and the Earl of Newcastle, for sending Sir Edmund Andros to 
England ; a contemporary copy of the Commission of Andros by 
James II., &c. 

Gen. John Winslow's Journal and Letter Book, in 3 vols., from 
Feb. 10, 1755, to Jan. 29, 1757. 

Letters to and from Rev. Benj. Colman, 1697-1745. 

Letters, mostly to the Mather Family, 1702-1792. 

Adjutant Waller's Orderly Book, 1775-76, (British Army at 


"Biblia Americana:" a Commentary and Annotations upon the 
Scriptures, by Cotton Mather, in 6 vols. 4to. 

Major William Lee's Orderly Book, Cambridge, 1775. 

Records of the Suffolk Bar, from 1770 to 1805. 

A Statement in reference to the N.E. Boundary Line, by Hon. 
Egbert Benson (one of the Commissioners), 1796. 

Records of the Anthology Club, from 1805 to 1811. 

An ancient Italian manuscript, labelled, " S. Anton, il Confes." 

Diary or Commonplace book of Sir Charles Frankland, from March, 
1755 to Dec. 1767. • • 

A Version of the Psalms, by Rev. John Barnard. 

An Account of the Persecution of the Protestants in France, after 
the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, 1685. 

Diary of David Hall, in 2 vols., 1741-1789. 

Rev. John Barnard's Commonplace book, 1715-1719. 

" Observable Providences," written by Rev. John Pike, of Dover, 

Records of an Association of Ministers, at Bodmin, in Cornwall, 
Eng., from 1656 to 1659; and afterwards of one, meeting at Cam- 
bridge in N.E., 1690-1704, kept originally by the Rev. Charles 

Almanacs, containing memoranda by the Winthrop Family. 

The original manuscript of the second Book of Chalmers's Political 
Annals, with a copy of the same. 

" L'Office de Dimanche," written by l'Abbe Maillard in the Micmac 
Indian language. Fol. 

Exemplification of Judgment for vacating the Charter of Massa- 
chusetts, 1685. 

The Small Tithes of Ecton, Northamptonshire, containing notices 
of the Franklin family. 

Minutes of the Council of Massachusetts, 1749. 

A Contemporary Copy of the Laws for the Government of the 
Dominions of the Duke of York. 

Records of the Proprietors of the Muscongus Patent, or Lincoln- 
shire Company, 1766-1794. 

" Coronico de Rey Henriquez quarto." 

A collection of papers (Depositions, Warrants, &c.) relating to the 
Witchcraft Delusion in 1692. 

Instruttione alii Commissarii, &c, del Ordine Gerosilimitane. 

A manuscript copy of Keating's History of Ireland, 1725, in Erse. 


The Diary of John Marshall, from Jan. 1, 1696-7 to Feb. 28, 

David Sewall's collection of papers relating to the province of 

A copy of the Diary of Rev. Thomas Shepard, of Cambridge, 1641, 

Orderly Book of Nathaniel Bangs. Fort Edward and Halifax, 1759. 

The original manuscript of Gookin's " Historical Collections Re- 
lating to the Indians of New England, 1674;" printed by this Society 
in 1^92, in the first volume of their Collections. 

A manuscript copy of Eliot's " Christian Commonwealth." 

Disbursements for the Poor of Boston, 1770-91. 

A copy of Blake's Annals of Dorchester. 

Sketches of St. Domingo, 1785-1794, by Samuel G. Perkins, Esq. 

Records of the "Fire Society" in Boston, 1742-1805. 

" The Heath Papers," in 28 volumes, containing the correspondence 
of many of the principal officers in the American Revolutionary War, 
and others, with General Heath, from 1774 to 1814. 

"The Hutchinson Papers," in 3 volumes, 1628-1771. Papers 
chiefly collected by Gov. Hutchinson, some of which are printed in his 
" Collection of Original Papers." 

" The Belknap Papers," collected by Rev. Jeremy Belknap, D.D. ; 
manuscripts relating to American History, from 1637 to 1799, in 8 
volumes ; besides Interleaved Almanacs, Diaries, &c. 

The manuscript Memoirs of Rev. John Peirce, D.D., in 18 volumes, 

The Diary of Rev. Increase Mather. 

The Diary of Cotton Mather, for the years 1682, 1683, 1685, 1686, 
1692-3, 1697, 1698, 1700, 1701, 1702, 1705, 1706, 1718, 1721, 
and 1724. 

An " Amortissement " executed by Louis, Duke of Orleans, in July, 
1405, in favor of the community of Celestines, at Paris. 

A treatise by Henry Daniell, a monk (ordinis Predicatorum), 
entitled " Liber Uricrisiarum," on vellum, illuminated ; probably the 
earliest medical treatise in the English language extant. This volume 
appears, by some Latin verses at the end, to have been completed, — 

" M. tricenteno septem. x atque noveno 
Regis Eichardi anno que secundo sedi." 

— that is, A.D. 1379, or 2 Richard II. 




The original manuscript of the Rev. Thomas Prince's Ordination 
Sermon, pp. 47, 16mo, inscribed in his own handwriting, — 

Boston. +. m. 

» 1. 1718. 


Heb. 13. 17." 

— and containing on the next page the full title as printed the same 

A portion (pp. 7-36) of the original manuscript of Lechford's 
| Plain Dealing," corresponding with pp. 8-53 of the printed work. 

An Italian manuscript, on vellum, richly illuminated (fol. 45, 4to), 
entitled, " Capitoli della Fraternita e Compagnia de santi Iacopo e 
Filippo ; intitolata la Charita : posta e situata in via mozza : popolo 
santo Lorenzzo in Firenze:" 

With the following inscription beneath the title : — 

Paulus Dellus 


an sci Lauretij 



regnate Cosmo 



iEtrurie Duce, 
Domini M.D. 



The last part of the volume, from fol. 28, contains additional docu- 
tents relating to the fraternity, dated from 1572 to 1641. 

A document (pp. 12, fol.), on vellum, in a beautifully executed 
Roman character, with illuminated initials : being articles of a com- 
mission for the encouragement of the silk manufacture in Pisa, in 
1612, and bearing the approval and autograph signature of Cosmo II. 
de Medici, Grand-Duke of Tuscany. 

• The original manuscript of Hon. Samuel Sewall's "Proposals 
touching the Accomplishment of Prophecies:" written in 1711, and 
printed in Boston in 1713. 

The Treasurer submitted his Report, in a printed 
form, after having read the attestation of the Examining 
Committee to the correctness of his accounts. 


Annual Report of the Treasurer. 



Balance of Account of 1867 $932.00 

John Appleton, salary 999.96 

George Arnold, „ 808.29 

Insurance 193.75 

Incidental expenses 396.23 

City of Boston, Tax of 1867 542.50 

Suffolk Savings Institution, Refund of Tax of 1865 513.50 

Suffolk Savings Institution, Refund of Tax of 1866 422.50 

Printing 103.05 

Coal 83.00 

Bond of Quincy & Palmyra Railroad 1,000.00 

Accrued Interest 9.11 

Appleton Fund 732.18 

Historical Trust-Fund 221.83 

Balance to new Account 70.63 



Suffolk Savings Institution $2,200.00 

Suffolk Savings Institution, tax of 1867 542.50 

City of Boston, Refund of Tax of 1865 513.50 

City of Boston, Refund of Tax of 1866 422.50 

Sales of the Society's Publications 370.33 

Copyright on sales of "Life of John Q. Adams" 4.80 

Admission Fees 20.00 

Assessments 914.00 

William Minot, executor of will of Henry Harris, legacy . . . 2,000.00 

Coupon of Quincy & Palmyra Railroad 40.00 

Sundries .90 



This fund consisted of ten thousand dollars, presented to 
the Society, Nov. 18, 1854, by the executors of the will of 
the late Samuel Appleton, on the condition that its income 
be applied to the purchase, preservation, and publication of 
historical material. It was received from the executors in 
ten shares of manufacturing stocks. These stocks were sold 
in February and March, 1863, and the net proceeds, amount- 


ing to twelve thousand two hundred and three dollars, were 
invested in the real estate of the Society, according to the 
Declaration of Trust on file, and recorded in the Eegister of 
Deeds' office, book 827, p. 63. Volumes three, four, five, six, 
and seven, of the Fourth Series of the Society's Collections, 
were printed from the income of this fund, and the strictly 
historical portions of the volumes of the Proceedings of the 
Society for 1862-63, and for 1864-65. 

Account ending April, 1868. 


John Appleton, preparing papers $200.04 

Edward Holden, copying 33.75 

John Wilson and Son, printing Vol. VIII. of Collections . . . 705.28 
Balance to new Account 38.75 



Balance of Accounts of 1866 $245.64 

One Year's Interest of the Fund 732.18 



This fund was originally two thousand dollars, presented 
to the Society by Hon. David Sears, by an instrument dated 
October 15, 1855, and accepted November 8, 1855. This 
provides that the income is to be added to the principal annu- 
ally, between July and January, to form a new investment ; 
but in any year before such investment the Society may, by 
vote, expend the income for such purposes as may be re- 
quired ; or it may, by vote, expend the accumulations of the 
income, in whole or in part, towards the purchase or improve- 
ment of the premises belonging to the Society ; " or in the 
purchase of works of art or desirable objects : " provided 
that in no case whatever ". the original trust-sum be en- 
croached upon or diminished." By vote of the Society, the 
sum of five hundred dollars was paid July 5, 1859, from 
the accumulation, in aid of paying the debt incurred by the 


purchase of the estate which the Society owns. No other 
expenditure has been authorized to be made from the accu- 
mulations of this fund. On the 26th of December, 1866, the 
principal was increased by a subscription by Hon. David 
Sears, of five hundred dollars, and by Nathaniel Thayer, Esq., 
of five hundred dollars ; which makes the principal of the 
fund three thousand dollars. 

The accumulations of income, with the interest cast to 
September 1, 1867, amount to $1,238.55. 

Account ending Sept. 1, 1867. 


Balance to new Account $1,238.55 



Balance of old Account $1,016.72 

Interest due on income $1,016.72, and principal $2,000, to Sep- 
tember 1, 1867 181.00 

Interest on $1,000, principal from December 26, 1866, to Sep- 
tember 1, 1867 40.83 



This fund was presented to the Society by George Pea- 
body, Esq., in a letter dated January 1, 1867, inclosing an 
order for $20,000 in 1040 coupon bonds, and providing that 
they or their proceeds shall be held by the Society as " a 
permanent trust-fund, of which the income shall be appro- 
priated to the publication and illustration of their Proceed- 
ings and Memoirs, and to the preservation of their Historical 
Portraits." This trust was accepted by a vote of the Society, 
January 10, 1867. The coupon bonds have been exchanged 
for two United-States 1040 bonds of $10,000 each, regis- 
tered in the name of the Society, dated January 12, 1867, 
and numbered 9,904 and 9,905, with the interest payable in 


Account to April, 1868. 


Paid John Wilson and Son for printing Proceedings, 1866-67 . $1,184.20 

Benjamin Bradley, binding 96.94 

„ „ „ 2.50 

William H. Forbes, engraving 148.75 

Balance to new Account 368.72 



By balance of old Account $390.49 

Proceeds of Coupons of September 705.00 

Proceeds of Coupons of March 705.62 


This fund, of ten thousand dollars, was presented to the 
Society, April, 1857, by the executors of the will of the late' 
Thomas Dowse; and it was invested in a note signed by 
Edward Hyde and O. W. Watris, secured by mortgage on 
real estate. This note was paid on the 7th of April, 1863; 
and the whole fund was then invested in the real estate of 
the Society. The income of this fund is included in the rent 
received from the Suffolk Savings Bank ; and the expenditure 
is included in salaries paid to the Assistant Librarian and to 
Mr. Arnold, who are employed in the care of the Dowse 


The Estate on Tremont Street. — The Society purchased, 
March 6, 1833, of the Provident Institution for Savings, the 
second story, and one-half of the attic story, of this building 
for $6,500 ; and on the 13th of March, 1856, the remainder of 
the interest of this institution, for $35,000. A portion of this 
was paid by subscription ; and, for the remainder, the Society 
mortgaged the whole estate to the Suffolk Savings Bank for 
Seamen and others, for $27,500. This mortgage was dis- 
charged on the 7th of April, 1863. The payments of the note 



have been as follows : Two thousand dollars from the legacy 
of Miss Mary P. Townsend ; sixteen hundred dollars from 
the legacy of the late Nathaniel I, Bowditch ; five hundred 
dollars from the Historical Trust-Fund ; twelve thousand two 
hundred and three dollars from the net proceeds of the sale 
of stocks of the Appleton Fund ; ten thousand dollars from 
the note of Hyde and Watris, constituting the Dowse Fund ; 
and the balance, eleven hundred and ninety-seven dollars, 
from a donation by the late Hon. William Sturgis, to enable 
the Society to discharge the mortgage. The lower floor is 
rented to the Suffolk Savings Bank for fifteen years from 
March 1, 1856, at an annual rent of $2,200. 

The Library, Paintings, and Cabinet. — The Library con- 
sists of about thirteen thousand six hundred volumes and 
twenty-five thousand pamphlets. 

The Society's Publications. — These consist of the thirty- 
seven volumes of the Collections, seven volumes of Pro- 
ceedings, and two volumes of the Catalogue, — nearly seventy- 
six hundred volumes, — which are for sale. 

The Appleton Fund, of ten thousand dollars ; The Massa- 
chusetts Historical Trust-Fund, of three thousand dollars; 
The Dowse Fund, of ten thousand dollars, — all invested in 
the real estate of the Society, as explained in this Report. 

The Peabody Fund.' — Invested in two registered United- 
States 10-40 bonds of $10,000 each, bearing five per cent 

The Dowse Library. — This library was presented to the 
Society ' by the late Thomas Dowse, and consists of four 
thousand six hundred and fifty volumes. 

The Copyright and Stereotype Plates of the " Life of John 
Quincy Adams." — These were presented to the Society by 
Hon. Josiah Quincy. The Memoir is on sale by Nichols & 

Bond of $1,000 of the Quincy & Palmyra Railroad. 



The income of the Society consists of an annual assess- 
ment, on each resident member, of seven dollars, or, instead, 
the payment of sixty dollars ; the admission-fee, of ten dol- 
lars, of new members ; the rent of the lower floor of the 
Society's building ; the sales of the publications of the So- 
ciety ; the sales of the " Life of John Quincy Adams ; " the 
interest on the Peabody Fund, and on a bond of $1,000. 

Messrs. Wiggin & Lunt, under the arrangement made 
June 16, 1866, to sell the Society's publications, returned 
sales from January 1, 1867, to January 1, 1868, to the amount 
of $186.78. The Assistant Librarian sold to the members 
books to the amount of $183.55. Total sales for the year, 

The Treasury was favored, during the past year, with a 
legacy of $2,000, by the will of the late Henry Harris, Esq. 
One-half of this sum was invested in a coupon bond of the 
Quincy & Palmyra Railroad Company, bearing interest at 
eight per cent, free of government tax. The other half was 
placed on deposit with Nathaniel Thayer, Esq. It is on in- 
terest, and is subject to the call of the Society. 

The income of the Peabody Fund has been used in the 
publication of a volume of the Proceedings of the Society 
for 1866-67, the cost of which was $1,718.15. The balance 
to the credit of this fund, with the income for the ensuing 
year, will enable the Society, if it deems it expedient, to 
print another volume of the Proceedings. 

The income of the Appleton Fund, the following year, will 
be sufficient to meet the expense of the volume of Collections, 
which is going through the press. 

Respectfully submitted. 

Richard Frothingham, 


Boston, April 9, 1868. 


Report of the Cabinet-keeper. 

In accordance with the By-laws of the Society, the Cabinet- 
keeper has the honor to submit his Annual Report on the con- 
dition of his department. 

The accessions to the Cabinet during the past year have 
been sixteen articles, from twelve different persons. Among 
the most important of these may be mentioned a photograph 
of our benefactor, George Peabody, which was used for the 
engraving in the last volume of the Proceedings of the Society, 
and given by the President, Mr. Winthrop ; a pitcher, repre- 
senting the ship " Lydia " on one side, with a portrait of 
Washington on the other, probably, from an inscription on it, 
dating back to the time of his presidency, given by Major 
J. W. M. Appleton ; and a portrait, handsomely framed, painted 
in oils by Hoyt, of President Harrison, taken between the time 
of his nomination and of his election in 1840, the gift of Albert 
Fearing, Esq. 

It will be seen that the additions to the Cabinet have been 
fewer than usual ; yet enough has been done to lead us to 
believe that this department has not been forgotten. 

The great want at the present time is a proper place for 
exhibiting many articles which are now unavoidably kept 
out of sight. It is to be hoped that at some future day means 
will be provided by which this object may be attained. 

The Society has a very creditable collection of portraits, 
which grow more valuable from year to year, of persons who 
were prominent actors in early New-England history. It is 
important that the utmost care should be given to them, as it 
would be impossible to replace them, if in any manner they 
should be destroyed. 

Respectfully submitted. 

Samuel A. Green, 


April 9, 1868. 

1868.] ANNUAL MEETING. # 173 

These several Reports were accepted, and referred to 
the Committee on the publication of the Proceedings. 

Mr. Solomon Lincoln, from the Nominating Com- 
mittee, reported the following list of officers for the 
ensuing year, after stating that Mr. Amory had declined 
to be again a candidate for the office of Librarian : — 




Hon. JOHN C. GRAY, LL.D. Boston. 

Recording Secretary. 
CHARLES DEANE, A.M Cambridge. 

Rev. CHANDLER ROBBINS, D.D. . % Boston. 



HENRY G. DENNY, A.M Boston. 

Standing Committee. 

SAMUEL ELIOT, LL.D . . Boston. 



CHARLES C. SMITH, Esq Boston- 
Rev. GEORGE W. BLAGDEN, D.D Boston. 

The above-named gentlemen were duly elected. 

Mr. Waterston remarked that our associate, Mr. 
Longfellow, present at this meeting, was soon to sail 
for Europe ; and he submitted a motion that Mr. Long- 
fellow be requested to represent this Society on any fit 


occasion during his absence ; which was unanimously 

Mr. S. Lincoln offered the following resolution, which 
was unanimously adopted : — 

Resolved, That the thanks of the Society be tendered 
to Thomas C. Amory, Esq., for his valuable services in 
the office of Librarian, for the four years past; to Dr. 
Samuel A. Green for the faithful discharge of his duties 
in the office of Cabinet-keeper ; and to the Rev. George 
E. Ellis and Prof. Henry W. Torrey, the retiring mem- 
bers of the * Standing Committee, for the ability with 
which they have discharged the duties of their office. 

On motion of Mr. Deane, it was — 

Voted, That any application for duplicate books or 
pamphlets in the Library of this Society, made in behalf 
of other Societies or of individuals, by way of exchange 
or otherwise, be referred to the Librarian, who shall ex- 
amine the application, and lay the same before the 
Standing Committee, who are charged with full power to 
act finally in each case ; and that an exact account shall 
be kept on the Records of the Standing Committee, and 
also on the books of the Librarian, of the disposition 
thus made *of any books, and the equivalent received 

Mr. Waterston presented, in the name of President 
Stearns, of Amherst College, a memoir of his son, Adju- 
tant Frazar Augustus Stearns, who fell in the battle of 
Newbern, March 14, 1862, in the 22d year of his age. 
The memoir was written by his father. 

The thanks of the Society were voted for this valuable 
gift to the Society's Library. 

1868.] ANNUAL MEETING. 175 

On motion of Dr. Ellis, it was — 

Voted, That the Standing Committee cause the rooms 
of the Society to be kept open during the afternoons, or 
some of the afternoons, for the convenience of the mem- 
bers of the Society. 

On motion of Mr. E. E. Hale, it was — 

Voted, That a Committee of six, including the Cabinet- 
keeper, be appointed by the chair, to report to the Soci- 
ety on all pictures, models, maps, and other objects 
relating specially to the local history of Boston, now in 
the keeping or possession of the Society. 

The following persons were appointed on that Com- 
mittee : Messrs. Denny, E. E. Hale, Shurtleff, Green, 
Quincy, and Whitmore. 

Col. Aspinwall said that he wished to apologize to 
the Society for the delay in the publication of the volume 
or volumes of papers relating to our Colonial history, on 
which he had been so long engaged. He stated, that, 
in his attempt to annotate these papers, he had met 
with many perplexities concerning the early history of 
Virginia ; and much time had been spent in trying to 
arrive at the truth. He hoped, during the year, to pub- 
lish two volumes of the papers on which he is now en- 

On motion of the Treasurer, it was — 

Voted, That the Standing Committee be hereby au- 
thorized to apply the past year's increase of the " Mas- 
sachusetts Historical Trust-Fund," in the purchase of 
books on American history for the Library. 

Mr. Hillard announced the Memoir of Judge Story 
as ready for publication. 


Engraved "by -' CJieney 








Joseph Story was born in Marblehead, on the eighteenth 
day of September, 1779. He was the eldest child of a second 
marriage. *His father, Dr. Elisha Story, had served as a sur- 
geon in the army of the Revolution, and afterwards engaged 
in the practice of medicine in Marblehead, with distinguished 
success, till his death in 1805. His second wife, the mother 
of Judge Story, was Mehitable Pedrick, the daughter of an 
opulent merchant of Marblehead. She was married at the 
age of nineteen, and lived to an advanced age, surviving by 
a few years her eminent son. She was a woman of sense 
and energy, with an active mind and a cheerful spirit. Left, 
at the death of her husband, with a numerous family and a 
very moderate income, she showed an admirable tact and 
method in the conduct of her household, and the education of 
her children. 

Young Story was prepared for college in his native town, 
and entered the Freshman Class in Harvard College, in Jan- 
uary, 1795, about half a year in advance. His college life 
was in all respects honorable to him. His studies embraced 
not merely the prescribed course of the college, but ranged 
over a wide field of English literature. Among his class- 


mates were Dr. Tuckerman and Dr. Charming. With the 
latter he contended for the highest honors of his class, but 
always acquiesced in the decision which gave the first place 
to his friend. He left college, not only unstained by vice, 
but with a singular purity of life and conversation. 

The profession of the law had been his early and only 
choice, and he entered upon the study of it immediately after 
leaving college, first at Marblehead, in the office of Chief- 
Justice Sewall, and afterwards at Salem, in that of Judge 
Putnam. His love of literature, and especially poetry, and 
his enthusiastic temperament, made the study of the law at 
first distasteful to him ; and he has left it on record that he 
more than once wept over the crabbed pages of " Coke upon 
Littleton," from inability to comprehend the meaning of the 
rugged commentator. But these difficulties soon vanished 
before his resolute industry, and in his three years of prep- 
aration he laid a strong and sure foundation of knowledge, on 
which to build in after years. The interest with which he 
always pursued his researches into the most abstruse and 
least attractive departments of the law would seem to justify 
the remark which has often been made, that the best lawyers 
are those who at first have a natural distaste to the study. 

While a student of law, he delivered, at the request of the 
people of Marblehead, a eulogy on Washington, which was 
printed, and received with favor, though written in a style 
which the author's mature taste condemned as bombastic and 

He was admitted to the bar in 1801, and immediately began 
the practice of the law in Salem. His industry, the fidelity 
with which he served his clients, and his frank and engaging 
manners soon secured him a fair and steadily increasing 
amount of business, though he labored under the disadvan- 
tage of having espoused the unpopular side in politics. 
He was a Democrat ; while the wealth, cultivation,, and 
social influence of Salem, and indeed of all Massachusetts, 



were with the Federal party. Party politics then ran very 
high, and the recent election of Jefferson had added- 
bitterness to the strife ; and the unpopular opinions of the 
young lawyer exposed him to some social mortifications and- 
neglects to which he did not pretend to be insensible. But, 
though sensitive and sympathetic, he was not weak or mor- 
bid ; and a singularly buoyant and cheerful spirit enabled him 
to bear lightly what might have crushed a melancholy 
temperament. His early politics were explained and justi- 
fied by himself in later life, when he said, " I like as much 
to see a young man democratic, as an old man conservative. 
When we are old, we are cautious and slow of change, if we 
have benefited by experience : when we are young, we 
hope too much, if we are generous and pure." 

During the year 1803, the post of naval officer of the port 
of Salem was offered to him, but declined on the ground 
that its duties would interfere with his professional pros- 
pects. In 1804, he delivered a Fourth-of-July oration before 
the citizens of Salem, written in the declamatory style which 
the popular taste then approved. In the same year, he pub- 
lished a volume of poems, containing an improved edition of 
" The Power of Solitude," which had originally appeared in 
1802, and several fugitive pieces. " The Power of Solitude " 
is a didactic poem, in two parts, in heroic verse, written at a 
time when Zimmerman was read and admired. His son, Mr. 
William W. Story, who has won such honors in art and liter- 
ature, says of this production, with commendable fairness, 
" The defects of his poem are exaggeration of feeling, confu- 
sion of imagery, and a want of simplicity of expression. The 
style is stilted and artificial. But, though dull as a poem, it 
shows facility and talent for versification, breathes a warm 
aspiration for virtue and truth, and is creditable to his 

During the same year, he prepared for the press and pub- 
lished a " Selection of Pleadings in Civil Actions," a useful 


and accurate manual, and for a long time, during the reign 
of special pleading, almost the only book of forms used in 
this country. On the ninth day of December, Mr. Story was 
married to Miss Mary Lynde Oliver, a young lady to whom 
he had been long and tenderly attached ; but his domestic 
happiness was destined to be of brief duration, for his wife's 
health began to decline soon after their marriage, and she 
died on the 22d of June, 1805, to the inexpressible grief of 
her husband. Her person and manners were pleasing, her 
mind was cultivated, and her disposition amiable and gentle. 
Her image was always recalled by her husband with affec- 
tionate tenderness. Two of the smaller pieces in his printed 
volume of poems were by her. 

In 1805, he was chosen a member of the Legislature of 
Massachusetts, to represent the town of Salem, and was 
annually re-elected till his appointment to the bench. He 
soon came to be recognized as the leader of his party in the 
House, and was often obliged to contest, almost single-handed, 
against the powerful array of ability and influence which 
supported the Federal cause. In these contests he bore him- 
self with a courage and eloquence which extorted hearty 
praise from the more generous of his opponents. He was an 
ardent, but not a bitter or an unscrupulous, partisan. 

On one occasion he showed a manly and honorable indepen- 
dence of party ties. In 1806, a vacancy occurred in the 
office of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachu- 
setts, and it was felt highly desirable to secure for the place 
the unrivalled legal abilities of Mr. Theophilus Parsons, then 
in large practice in Boston. It was understood that he would 
accept the office, if the salary were made honorable and per- 
manent, it being then neither the one nor the other. Mr. 
Parsons was obnoxious to the Democrats, who at that time 
were in power in Massachusetts, because he was an uncom- 
promising Federalist, whose great powers had been often 
exerted on behalf of his party. But Mr. Story put aside all 


political prepossessions, and carried successfully through the 
House, in spite of the opposition of his own party, a bill 
which increased the salaries of the judges and made them 

Nor was this all. Mr. Parsons accepted the office, but, 
after holding it three years, he sent for Mr. Story, and frankly 
told him that his salary was insufficient for the support of his 
family, and that he must resign his office unless it were in- 
creased. The Democratic party then had a majority in both 
branches of the legislature. A bill further enlarging the sala- 
ries of the judges, drawn by Mr. Story, was reported, and, 
through his personal influence, carried through both branches 
of the legislature. He was for a long time denounced by 
some of the journals of his own party for the part he took in 
these measures. 

In January, 1806, he drew up an able memorial from the 
inhabitants of Salem to the President and Congress, on the 
infringement of the neutral trade of this country by Great 

In the winter session of 1808, he made an elaborate report 
in favor of the creation of a court of chancery for the State 
of Massachusetts, and accompanied it by a corresponding 
bill ; but the proposed measure was not successful. 

In the month of August, 1808, he was married to Miss Sarah 
Waldo Wetmore, a lady with whom he lived in great happi- 
ness until his death. 

In the autumn of 1808, he was elected a member of Con- 
gress, to supply the vacancy caused by the death of the Hon. 
Jacob Crowninshield. He served only for the remainder of 
the term for which he was chosen, and declined a re-election ; 
his hopes and aspirations being professional, and not political. 
While in Congress, he manifested his usual independence by 
giving his support to propositions to increase the navy and 
to repeal the embargo ; in both cases acting against the party 
to which he belonged. Mr. Jefferson was displeased at his 


course, and in one of his letters calls him a " pseudo-repub- 

In 1809, engrossed as he was with business and politics, 
he found time to edit a new edition of " Chitty on Bills of 
Exchange and Promissory Notes " ; appending to it a large 
body of valuable annotations. In 1810, he prepared an edi- 
tion of "Abbott on Shipping," and, in 1811, an edition of 
" Lawes on Assumpsit " ; to both works adding copious 

In January, 1811, he was chosen Speaker of the House of 
Representatives of Massachusetts, in the place of the Hon. 
Perez Morton, appointed Attorney-General of the State ; and, 
on the organization of the new House, in the succeeding 
May, he was re-elected to the same station. During the short 
time that he held this office, he presided over the delibera- 
tions of a crowded and somewhat stormy body, to the satis- 
faction of all the members. 

In 1810, the seat of Associate Justice of the Supreme 
Court of the United States became vacant, by the death of 
Mr. Justice Cushing. The place was first offered by Presi- 
dent Madison to the Hon. Levi Lincoln, who declined it ; and 
then to the Hon. John Quincy Adams, at that time in Russia, 
by whom it was also declined. In the month of November, 
1811, the appointment was, very much to his surprise, offered 
to Mr. Story, and, after some reflection, accepted. The annual 
salary of a judge of the supreme court was then only thirty- 
five hundred dollars, and as his professional income at that 
time was nearly double in amount, he made no slight pecu- 
niary sacrifice in leaving the bar; but he was induced to 
accept the office mainly because of the opportunity it afforded 
him to pursue those juridical studies which were most con- 
genial to his tastes. 

Mr. Story, when he went upon the bench, was only thirty- 
two years old, a very early, and, with the exception of Mr. 
Justice Buller, an unprecedented, age for a lawyer to be 


advanced to a seat upon the highest judicial tribunal of his 
country. When we call to mind his youth, and remember 
how earnest and conspicuous he had been on the unpopular 
side in politics, it will not be a matter of surprise to learn 
that the news of his appointment fell with something like 
consternation upon the elder, the more apprehensive, and the 
more conservative portion of the people of New England. His 
merits as a lawyer could be scanned only by his professional 
brethren : his sweet and generous nature could be appre- 
ciated only by his friends. The public knew him as an enthu- 
siastic partisan; and it is not too much to say that with 
many there was an apprehension that, in his hands, rights and 
property would hardly be safe. It is hardly necessary to add, 
that the existence of such fears was a striking proof of the 
truth of Mr. Jefferson's saying. u How much we suffer from 
misfortunes that never happen ! " From the moment he 
assumed his judicial office, he shook the dust of politics from 
his feet ; and he bore himself with such absolute impartiality, 
that it is literally true that there was no act of his judicial 
life from which it could have been known to which of the two 
great parties which divided the country he had previously 

From 1811 till 1829, when he removed to Cambridge, the 
life of Judge Story flowed on in a uniform and uneventful 
current. About three months of every year were spent with 
the Supreme Court in Washington, and several weeks were 
devoted to the judicial duties of his circuit, embracing Maine, 
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. His life 
was useful, laborious, and happy. His duties were eminently 
congenial to his taste and the nature of his mind. His legal 
studies were pursued with an appetite that grew with what 
it fed upon. His hopes and aspirations were all confined to 
the sphere of the bench, and he never cast a lingering look 
back upon the political field he had left. His warm domestic 
and social tastes found satisfaction in a happy home, and in a 


large circle of relatives and friends, by whom he was regarded 
with equal pride and affection. A busier or a happier man 
it would not have been easy to find. His lot was not ex- 
empt from those trials by which the soul of man is tried and 
ripened. Of seven children who were born to him, four were 
taken away by death during these years ; and his letters show 
how acutely he felt these losses, and with what Christian 
resignation he bore them. 

During this period, Judge Story's judicial labors, great as 
they were, did not absorb all his time or energies. His mis- 
cellaneous occupations and occasional productions would alone 
have been enough to save him from the reproach of being an 
idle man. On the 23d of August, 1813, he delivered a eulogy 
at Salem, on the occasion of the re-interment of the bodies of 
Captain James Lawrence and Lieutenant Augustus C. Lud- 
low, who were killed on the 18th of June of the same year, 
in the engagement of the Chesapeake with the Shannon. 
Their remains were at first buried at Halifax, whence they 
were removed to Salem. Though hurriedly prepared, and 
under the depression of illness, it was well received by the 
public. The elaborate memorial of the merchants of Salem 
against the tariff, in 1820, was drawn up by him. In 1821, 
he delivered an address before the members of the Suffolk 
bar, which was published in the "American Jurist" in 1829, 
and republished in England, in Clark's " Cabinet Library of 
Scarce and Celebrated Tracts." 

In 1826, he pronounced the annual discourse before the 
Phi-Beta-Kappa Society of Harvard College ; a performance 
marked by a flowing ease of style, and showing a wide range 
of literary cultivation. In 1828, he delivered the centennial 
address in commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary 
of the first settlement of the town of Salem, — a beautiful 
discourse, perhaps the finest and most finished of all his occa- 
sional productions, abounding with passages of a rich and 
animated eloquence ; among which may be especially enumer- 


ated the closing paragraphs, and the pathetic reflections on 
the fate of the Indians. He also wrote biographical sketches 
of Samuel Dexter, Mr. Justice Trimble, Mr. Justice Washing- 
ton, Chief-Justice Parker, William Pinkney, and Thomas Addis 
Emmett. He contributed to the u North-American Review " 
articles on Hoffman's " Course of Legal Study," on Jacobsen's 
" Laws of the Sea/' on u Johnson's Reports," on " Phillips on 
Insurance," and on Dane's " Abridgment of American Law." 
These were not merely literary notices of the several works 
reviewed, but elaborate essays on the subjects discussed in 
them ; marked by the same thorough research and exhaustive 
learning which distinguish the writer's judicial opinions. 

In the " Encyclopaedia Americana," the titles, Congress, 
Contract, Courts of the United States, Criminal Law, Capital 
Punishment, Domicile, Equity, Jury, Lien, Law Legislation 
and Codes, Natural Law, National Law, Prize, and Usury, 
were furnished by him. The elaborate notes in " Wheaton's 
Reports," on the Principles and Practice in Prize Courts, on 
Patent Laws, on Charitable Bequests, on Piracies, and on the 
Admiralty Jurisdiction, as well as on several others of less 
importance, occupying no less than one hundred and eighty- 
four closely printed pages, were written by Judge Story. 
The following entry in one of his memorandum books is 
worthy of being here copied, as illustrating the beautiful 
disinterestedness of his nature, and his readiness to serve 
his friends : — 

"June 12, 1819. It is not my desire ever to be known as the 
author of any of the notes in Mr. Wheaton's ' Reports.' Lest, how- 
ever, the fact should transpire, and it should be supposed he is under 
obligations to me for notes which are his own, I think it best to put 
down those notes which I have written. I made it an express con- 
dition, that the notes furnished by me should pass as his own ; and I 
know full well that there is nothing in any of them which he could 
not have prepared with a very little exertion of his own diligence 
and learning." 

Then follows an enumeration of the notes. 


To be willing to labor without reward is no uncommon 
trait ; but there are few who thus rise superior to the love of 
fame, and silently allow a friend to wear the honors of patient 
and conscientious research. 

To this period of his life also belongs his impressive charge 
to the grand jury at Portland, in 1821, on the horrors of the 
slave trade. 

In 1820, after the separation of Maine from Massachusetts, 
a convention was called to revise the Constitution of the latter 
State. To this convention — a body remarkable for wisdom, 
ability, and comprehensive patriotism — Judge Story was sent 
as a delegate from the town of Salem. He took a deep interest 
in its proceedings, and an important part in its debates. He 
maintained the all-important principle of the independence of 
the judiciary, in a powerful argument, which was never re- 
ported. The published debates of the convention contain a 
beautiful specimen of his deliberative eloquence, in a speech 
on the basis of the senatorial representation; in which he 
considered the influence which property has, and should have, 
upon government. 

In 1818, Judge Story was elected a member of the Board 
of Overseers of Harvard College. In January, 1825, he 
delivered before this body an argument against a claim set up 
in a memorial presented by some of the professors and tutors 
of the college, that none but resident instructors were eligible 
as u Fellows " of the corporation. This argument, which was 
confined wholly to the legal merits of the case, is full of curious 
and recondite learning upon a novel question, which had hardly 
ever before been investigated in this country. In the year 
1825, he was elected a member of the Corporation, and con- 
tinued to hold this office until the time of his death, faithfully 
and diligently discharging the duties of this trust. 

In 1829, an important change took place in Judge Story's 
life and labors. In the early part of that year, Mr. Nathan 
Dane, of Beverly, — so honorably known, alike as a legislator 



and a jurist, — stated to him, in a personal interview, that he 
proposed to bestow ten thousand dollars upon Harvard Col- 
lege, to found a professorship of law, but upon the express 
condition that he should be the first incumbent of the chair. 
Judge Story, who had already declined to accept the Royall 
Professorship of Law at Cambridge, was at first unwilling to 
accede to Mr. Dane's proposition ; but after much reflection, 
finally consented, mainly on the ground that his refusal would 
deprive the college of a useful and honorable foundation. He 
was accordingly elected, by the Corporation, Dane Professor, 
on the eleventh day of June, and Mr. John Hooker Ashmun, 
of Northampton, — a young man of extraordinary promise in 
the law, cut off before his prime, - — was appointed Royall 
Professor. Their inauguration took place Aug. 29, 1829, on 
which occasion Judge Story pronounced a beautiful and appro- 
priate discourse. He left Salem, not without many painful 
regrets, in September, and immediately entered upon the 
duties of his office. From 1817 to 1829, the average annual 
number of students in the Law School had been about eight ; 
but the name and reputation of Judge Story exerted an attract- 
ive force unknown before ; and before the close of the first 
year of his professorship, the number of pupils had increased 
to thirty. 

Busily occupied as he now was with his old and new duties, 
he found time to prepare and deliver, in November, 1829, a 
discourse before the Boston Mechanics' Institute, at the open- 
ing of their annual course of lectures, on the Yalue of the 
Mechanic Arts and the Influence of Science. These themes 
were treated in a manner adapted to a popular audience, and 
enlivened with copious illustrations. 

In December, 1830, a plan having been arranged that the 
professors belonging to the college should deliver a series of 
lectures before an audience composed of their families and 
friends, Judge Story opened the course with a lecture, in 
which he maintained the advantages of a wide and generous 


cultivation, rather than an exclusive devotion to any single 
study. At the close of the series, he gave a lecture on the 
relation of husband and wife. 

The happy current of Judge Story's life was now to be 
broken by perhaps the sharpest sorrow of his life. On the 
10th of May, 1831, his youngest daughter, Louisa, — a child 
singularly lovely in person and attractive in character, — died 
of scarlet fever, after a very short illness. The blow was the 
more desolating from its unexpectedness, as his daughter had 
always enjoyed the most blooming and radiant health. The 
writer of this sketch well remembers the overwhelming grief 
of Judge Story under this bereavement, and the wide and deep 
sympathy which it called forth, as well as the resolute energy 
with which he sought relief from torturing recollections in the 
earnest discharge of his official and academic duties. But, 
though he rallied from the shock, he never entirely recovered 
from it. After this loss, the world never was to him quite 
what it was before, and a shade of gentle melancholy hung over 
his brightest hours and purest satisfactions. The feelings awak- 
ened by this irreparable loss found fitting expression in the 
beautiful discourse delivered by him Sept. 24, 1831, on the 
consecration of the Cemetery at Mount Auburn, which- is 
informed with the tenderness and sensibility of a stricken 
mourner, as well as the faith and hope of a submissive Chris- 
tian. More than once, during the delivery of this discourse, 
the tide of recollection was so strong as to choke for a moment 
the speaker's utterance ; and the sympathetic emotion of the 
vast audience around him was shown in the profound silence 
of all, and the suffused eyes of not a few. The loss of this 
beloved daughter also called from him the most genuine and 
beautiful of his poems. 

In the autumn of 1831, the chief-justiceship of the Supreme 
Court of Massachusetts became vacant by the death of Chief- 
Justice Parker, and Judge Story was much pressed to accept 
the vacant office, but declined to do so. 


In the beginning of the year 1832, Judge Story published 
his " Commentaries on the Law of Bailments," the first of the 
series of text-books prepared by him while incumbent of the 
professor's chair, and as aids in the teaching of the elementary 
principles of law. No work on the subject had previously 
appeared in English but the well-known essay of Sir William 
Jones, which could claim no other rank than that of a beauti- 
ful and scholarly outline, without the fulness or the accuracy 
requisite for the practitioner or the student; and the new 
treatise, received with great favor alike in America and Eng- 
land, was introduced into the Law School as a text-book, to 
the great satisfaction and advantage of the pupils. This work 
was very properly dedicated to Mr. Dane. 

In the early part of 1833, Judge Story published his " Com- 
mentaries on the Constitution," in three volumes, which were 
received with great and general favor. A just and compre- 
hensive tribute was paid to this work by the eminent man to 
whom it was so appropriately dedicated, — John Marshall, — 
in a letter of acknowledgment to the author : " 1 have finished 
reading your great work, and wish it could be read by every 
statesman, and every would-be statesman, in the United States. 
It is a comprehensive and an accurate commentary on our 
Constitution, formed in the spirit of the original text." 

On the fifth day of April, 1833, he pronounced a eulogy, in 
the college chapel, upon his associate in the Law School, 
Professor Ashmun. Though prepared in the short interval 
between the death and the funeral of his young friend, it 
was a discriminating and affectionate sketch of his character 
and powers. 

In the early part of 1834, the "Commentaries on the Conflict 
of Laws " were published. It was the first systematic treatise 
on the subject in the English language; and its admirable 
method, its copious learning, and the liberal spirit which per- 
vaded it were warmly recognized by professional readers, 
both in England and America. It was reprinted in England, 


and soon translated into German and French ; and it was 
received by the jurists and juridical writers of the Continent 
with a welcome which was the best proof of the substantial 
merit of the work. 

In August, 1834, Judge Story published in the " New-Eng- 
land Magazine " an essay entitled " Statesmen: their Rareness 
and Importance," in the course of which he gives a sketch of 
Mr. Webster's political career. In the same month of August, 
1834, he delivered a lecture before the American Institute of 
Instruction, on " The Science of Government as a Branch of 
Popular Education," in which he maintained that it was prac- 
ticable and proper to teach the science of government as a 
branch of popular education, and thereby insure such com- 
prehension of its general principles as to secure intelligent 
legislation. With a view of illustrating and enforcing his own 
doctrines, he subsequently prepared a brief manual, called 
" The Constitutional Class-Book," which was introduced as a 
text-book into many schools. 

On the sixth day of July, 1835, Chief- Justice Marshall died, 
an " old man and full of years," the object of such reverence 
and gratitude as had been accorded to no man since the death 
of Washington. This was a severe loss to Judge Story, who 
not only felt the highest admiration for the Chief Justice as 
a great lawyer and magistrate, but loved him as a personal 
friend with whom he had long lived on the most affectionate 
and intimate terms. Invited by the members of the Suffolk 
bar to deliver a eulogy upon the Chief Justice, he could not 
decline the request, though it came at a time when he was 
pressed by many and arduous labors. His commemorative 
discourse was pronounced in Boston, on the fifteenth day of 
October, 1835, before a large and sympathetic audience, and 
was afterwards published. It is a glowing and yet discrim- 
inating sketch of the life and character of Marshall, colored 
with the rich hues of personal feeling ; but in its estimate 
of the intellectual qualities of this illustrious magistrate, 


and of the value of his services, it was no more than an antici- 
pation of the calm, unbiassed judgment of posterity. 

During the year 1835, Judge Story prepared for the 
" Kritische Zeitschrift" — a periodical published at Heidel- 
berg, under the editorial charge of Professor Mittermaier — 
an elaborate article on the Constitutional and Public Law of 
the United States. And, subsequently, he furnished for the 
" Revue Etrang^re," at Paris, an article on the Organization 
and Jurisdiction of National Courts in the United States. 

In the latter part of 1835, Judge Story revised and pub- 
lished a selection from his miscellaneous writings, which was 
dedicated to Mr. Josiah Quincy, then President of Harvard 

In the early part of 1836, the first volume of his " Com- 
mentaries on Equity Jurisprudence " was published, which 
was followed by the second in the summer of the same year. 
This is a work of profound and exact learning; and, in prac- 
tical value to the profession, has not been surpassed by any 
of Judge Story's legal treatises. He found a peculiar pleasure 
alike in the study and the administration of equity law. Its 
broad and comprehensive principles, which were in unison 
with his own liberal and enlightened views of jurisprudence, 
were expounded by him with a fulness of illustration and a 
depth of research which showed that his mind was working in 
a congenial sphere. His " Commentaries " took a place in the 
literature of the profession which no previous work on the 
same subject had occupied, and from which no subsequent 
rival has removed it. It was dedicated to Mr. William Pres- 
cott, a man eminently worthy of the honor, alike on profes- 
sional and personal grounds. 

During this busy year (1836), Judge Story prepared a 
memorial in behalf of his brother-in-law, Mr. Fettyplace, and 
other claimants, praying indemnification for the seizure of 
the schooner " Reward" by France, under the treaty of Feb. 
2, 1832, between France and the United States, containing an 


elaborate argument on several important questions of prize 

In this same year (1836), Judge Story was appointed by 
Governor Everett chairman of a board of commissioners, 
under a resolution of the Legislature of Massachusetts, " to 
take into consideration the practicability and expediency 
of reducing to a written and systematic code the common 
law of Massachusetts, or any part thereof, and to report 
thereon to the next Legislature, subjoining to their report a 
plan or plans of the best method in which such reduction 
can be accomplished." In his capacity of chairman, Judge 
Story drew up an elaborate report, recommending the reduc- 
tion of certain portions of the common law to a written and 
systematic code, in which the principles established by the 
courts should be enunciated with precision. 

In the beginning of the year 1838, Judge Story published 
a treatise on " Equity Pleadings," a work supplementary to 
the " Commentaries on Equity Jurisprudence,' 7 and marked 
by similar merits of thorough research and luminous method. 
It was dedicated to that great lawyer, Jeremiah Mason. 

In the spring of 1839, his " Commentaries on the Law of 
Agency " were published, which met with the same success, 
at home and abroad, as his previous works. The same may 
be said of the " Commentaries on Partnership," which ap- 
peared in the early part of 1841. In the interval between the 
publications of these treatises, new editions were prepared 
of the works on " Bailments," on " Equity Pleadings," and 
on the " Conflict of Laws," involving much labor, and com- 
prising extensive additions. 

On the 23d of August, 1842, Judge Story delivered the 
first oration before the society of the Alumni of Harvard 
College, an association in which he felt much interest, and of 
which he was vice-president. His discourse was on the liter- 
ary tendencies and demands of the age. 

In November, 1842, his health gave way under his unre- 


mitted labors, and he had a serious fit of illness. He recov- 
ered very slowly, and he was obliged to give up his usual 
course of judicial duties at Washington, and remain at home 
during the winter. This was the only session of the Su- 
preme Court which he failed to attend, from the time of his 
appointment to that of his death, — a period of thirty-three 

In the early part of 1843, his " Commentaries on Bills of 
Exchange w were published. This subject had been treated 
by previous writers in connection with that of Promissory 
Notes ; but Judge Story deemed it expedient to discuss the 
law relating to bills of exchange by itself, and in the preface 
gave his reasons at some length for the change. This work 
was dedicated to his associate and friend, Professor G-reenleaf. 
In 1845, he published the last of his legal treatises, his 
" Commentaries on the Law of Promissory Notes " ; which 
was received with the same favor as his earliest works. 

For some time before his death, Judge Story had been 
meditating a resignation of his seat upon the bench. The 
distaste for locomotion, natural to declining years, was begin- 
ning to steal over him, and each year increased his disin- 
clination to leave his happy home for a winter journey to 
Washington. He felt, too, that the voice of nature protested 
against the unbroken and exhausting labors which his judicial 
and professional duties, united, exacted of him, and demanded 
that something should bv given up ; and he had determined to 
devote his whole time and energies to the Law School, in 
which he felt an ever-increasing interest, and to the prepara- 
tion of the legal treatises which he had meditated, but not 
executed. Besides, though his personal relations with his 
brethren of the bench were entirely agreeable, Washington 
was no longer to him what it had been in the days of Mar- 
shall. A change had come over the spirit of the Court ; and 
the constitutional opinions of that illustrious man, and his 
own, no longer swayed the tribunal. He had been com- 


pelled, in more than one instance, to dissent from the judg- 
ment of the Court, and he felt that in the future the diver- 
gence was more likely to increase than to diminish. From 
this duty of dissent he never shrank; but opposition and 
disagreement were not congenial to a nature so sympathetic 
as his. 

In the early part of the year 1845, he had come to the 
fixed determination of resigning his judicial position ; and he 
left Washington in the spring of that year with a heart 
all the lighter, from the thought that he was to return to it 
no more. Upon coming home, he immediately addressed 
himself to the task of clearing the docket of the Circuit 
Court, so as to leave no legacy of unfinished work to his suc- 
cessor. Many of the cases were intricate and difficult, and 
the arduous labors they required bore heavily upon his 
strength and vital energies ; though, such' was the buoyancy 
of his spirit, it was not perceived at the time. 

The last time he appeared in public was on the third day 
of July, 1846, when a festival was given in celebration of 
the completion of a large addition to the Law Building, 
which the increase of the Law School had made necessary. 
An address was delivered by Mr. Choate on " The Profession 
of the Law as an Element of Conservatism in the State " ; a 
brilliant and striking performance, included in the collection 
of his writings published after his death; but wanting, as 
read, that indescribable magic of voice and eye which gave 
force to its eloquence and wisdom when heard. After the 
address, the audience dined together in the library of Dane 
Hall. Judge Story made a speech, in which he gave a his- 
tory of the foundation and growth of the Law School, and 
paid a generous tribute to Mr. Dane. The writer of this 
sketch was present on this occasion, and he well remembers 
Judge Story's high spirits and keen enjoyment of the day. 
He had never seemed in better health, and his whole manner 
betokened the satisfaction with which he looked forward to 



the unbroken pleasures of domestic life and the uninter- 
rupted discharge of the duties of his professor's chair. But 
these fond anticipations of future usefulness and happiness 
were not destined to be realized, and the end of earth was 
near at hand. 

By the beginning of September, he had finished the hear- 
ing of all the cases pending before him, and had drawn up 
judgments in all but one, and that was nearly completed. The 
severe labor which these tasks imposed, and the heat of the 
summer, had greatly exhausted him ; and, while in this pros- 
trated condition, he took a slight cold, which was followed by 
a violent internal stricture, from which he was not relieved 
until after many hours of great suffering. But after the dis- 
ease was conquered, his exhausted system did not rally. His 
strength daily declined, in spite of the best medical advice 
and the most careful nursing. On Sunday, September 8, he 
called his wife to his bedside and said to her, " I think it my 
duty to say to you that I have no belief that I can recover ; 
it is vain to hope it: but I shall die content, and with a firm 
faith in the goodness of God. We shall meet again." In 
the course of his illness he said, that, but for his state of 
health, his letter of resignation would have been on its way 
to Washington. On Tuesday night, about midnight, a change 
took place, and it was evident that the hand of death was on 
him. Throughout the whole of Wednesday, September 10th, 
the tide of life was slowly ebbing from him. He lay mostly 
without consciousness, and apparently without pain, through- 
out the day ; and at nine o'clock in the evening, his last 
breath was drawn. 

The news of his death threw a gloom over the community, 
all the deeper from the fact that none but those who lived in 
his immediate neighborhood were prepared for it. His ill- 
ness had been brief; he had not reached the period of life at 
which death seems a natural event ; and there was something 
startling in the sudden transition from the exuberant activity 


he had always shown, to the stillness of the grave. Resolu- 
tions were adopted, and speeches expressive of the highest 
respect and admiration were made at the opening of every 
court over which he had presided, and also of the Supreme 
Court at Washington. Several interesting discourses were 
pronounced from the pulpit in honor of him. On the 18th 
of September, the sixty-sixth anniversary of his birth, a 
beautiful and impressive eulogy upon him was delivered by 
his colleague, Professor Greenleaf, before the pupils of the 
Law School. In the courts of the United States, in New 
York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi, 
his death was also appropriately noticed. • 

Judge Story was about five feet eight inches in height, 
with rather broad shoulders, and a compact and active figure. 
He was very animated in his movements, and, to the last, 
moved with the quick, elastic step of youth. His com- 
plexion was fair, his eyes were blue ; and his hair in youth 
was auburn, but in early manhood he became bald. His 
mouth was large and full of expression. Of the many por- 
traits and busts which were taken of him, there is no one 
which reproduces the full charm of his countenance, lighted 
up as it was by the readiest and most beaming of smiles, and 
glowing with kindliness of heart and unaffected sympathy. 
His manners were simple, unassuming, and cordial. Every 
thing about him — his look of welcome, the warm grasp of his 
hand, his hearty and contagious laugh — was expressive of 
a happy temperament, an affectionate heart, and a spirit sin- 
gularly sweet and sunny. 

He was a man of large capacity and various faculties ; and 
with such intellectual force, such great propelling power, 
that, whatever might have been the sphere allotted to him, he 
could hardly have failed to have risen to eminence in it. 
His perceptions were wonderfully quick, but his knowledge 
was as enduring as it was readily acquired. His memory 
was " wax to receive, and marble to retain." And the accu- 


racy of his knowledge was as remarkable as its extent, though 
this was sometimes questioned by those who did not know 
him well, and took it for granted that a mind so rapid in its 
movements could not be either exact or profound. His 
crowning and conspicuous quality was his industry, wherein 
no man within the writer's knowledge ever excelled and very 
few equalled him. Many men will work hard in order to 
secure the prizes of life, wealth, office, or fame ; and, when 
these are won, they begin to grow self-indulgent, and are con- 
tent to live on their intellectual capital, without adding to its 
stores. Not so Judge Story ; for with him labor was a neces- 
sity of his nature, and he must have ceased to live before he 
ceased to work. The profession of the law, which he chose, 
was that which afforded the best scope and sphere to this 
persevering industry ; for of eminence in the law it is not too 
much to say, that three parts out of four are made up of hard 
work. He was mainly, almost exclusively, a lawyer, and pre- 
sented an example of an undeviating devotion to his profes- 
sion more common in England than in our country, where 
professional eminence is apt to prove the stepping-stone to 
the more showy, and, to many natures, the more tempting, 
honors of politics. His love of literature continued through 
life ; and his literary productions, though honorable alike to 
his talents and cultivation, were never regarded by him as 
any thing more than occasional relaxations from the severity 
of his professional and judicial toils, the " solicitce jucunda 
oblivia vitce." It was as a lawyer and a jurist that he wished to 
be judged, and hoped to be remembered. And the lawyer labors 
under this disadvantage, that the general public can take but 
little part in awarding to him the meed of praise which is his 
due. The orator, the poet, the novelist, the artist, appeal to 
the popular judgment, and by this they must stand or fall. 
But not so with lawyers, nor, as a general rule, with men of 
science. These must be tried by their peers. The place of 
the lawyer is fixed by lawyers, as the place of the mathema- 
tician is fixed by mathematicians. 


That Judge Story was a great lawyer, both in the original 
force of his mind and in his prodigious attainments, is what 
no man competent to judge, and free from prejudice, will for 
a moment deny. Judge Prescott, a man careful of his words, 
and not inclined to overpraise, said of him, in a letter written 
in 1840, "I believe him the greatest jurist now living in 
either country," meaning England and America ; and that this 
would not be deemed -too much to claim for him, even in Eng- 
land, may be inferred from the fact that Lord Campbell, in 
the course of a debate in the House of Lords, characterized 
him as "the first of living writers on the law." If among his 
contemporaries there were some who were not inferior to him 
in grasp of legal principles, in logical power, in accuracy of 
legal perception, there was no one who equalled him in the 
range and depth of his learning. In England, the division of 

legal employments limits the professional attainments of their 

lawyers and judges to a narrower sphere. One man devotes 

himself to equity law and one to common law, and neither 
intrudes upon the province of the other. Take the two 
brothers Lord Stowell and Lord Eldon, for instance ; the for- 
mer was confined to ecclesiastical and admiralty law, and the 
latter to equity law. But the jurisdiction of the courts of the 
United States compelled Judge Story to range over a far 
wider region of legal investigation than any English judge. 
He had to hear and determine questions in equity law, in 
commercial law, in admiralty law, in criminal law, in constitu- 
tional law, in the law of copyright, and patent law ; the two 
last being branches of law which the judges of the State 
courts in America are not called upon to examine, except 
occasionally and incidentally. But in all these departments 
Judge Story's learning was profound, accurate, and ready. 
He was not, like some judges, strong in some points and weak 
in others, but in every part of the law he was upon perfectly 
familiar ground. Administering justice in a community 
largely engaged in commerce, he might be expected to be, as 


he was, thoroughly versed in commercial law ; but he was 
equally at home in all the technical and recondite learning of 
real property. He had made himself master of the uncouth 
lore of " Coke upon Littleton." With every department of 
equity law, the broad and liberal spirit of which was pecul- 
iarly congenial to his taste, he was as familiar as if he had 
been trained a chancery barrister, and sat on the bench as an 
equity judge. With the now obsolete science of special 
pleading he was perfectly acquainted, and recognized its 
value, alike as a means for expediting the despatch of busi- 
ness, and an excellent instrument for training the logical 
faculty. His opinions on constitutional law" have in their 
careful analysis, luminous exposition, and vigorous grasp, no 
rivals save the immortal judgments of Marshall. In knowl- 
edge of admiralty laAV, alike of its origin, history, and practi- 
cal application, there is no one but Lord Stowell to rival him ; 
and, in learning, at least, the finished judgments of this great 
lawyer and accomplished scholar are not superior to those of 

To the important department of patent law, as administered 
and understood in America, Judge Story's contributions were 
more abundant and weighty than those of any other judge, 
or perhaps those of all his brother-judges on the bench during 
his time. The people of New England, as is well known, are 
full of inventive faculty, and most of the labor-saving ma- 
chines and contrivances which have done so much to lighten 
the burden of the primitive curse are of New-England 
origin. Judge Story's circuit embraced four of the six New- 
England States; and during the whole of his judicial life, 
the dockets of his courts were crowded with patent-cases. 
When he first went upon the bench, the law of patents was 
in a rudimentary and imperfect state. In England, it had 
been a field of contest between the common-law lawyers and 
the equity lawyers ; the former regarding a patent as a 
monopoly, and as such to be strictly construed, and the latter 


viewing it with a more liberal spirit. But, in this conflict, 
practical injustice had often been done to inventors, and the 
system of patent law was wanting in symmetry and propor- 
tion. The courts of America, at that time, had contributed 
almost nothing to the science. In the earliest cases that 
were tried before him, the counsel were accustomed to apolo- 
gize for their timid step and cautious movements, on the 
ground that they were traversing an unknown path. Judge 
Story prepared himself for the first patent case that came 
before him, by a thorough study of every reported case on 
the subject, and he kept pace with the rapid growth of the 
law during his time ; and we do not think it is too much to 
claim for him the honor of being the most thorough and able 
patent lawyer that has yet administered the law, whether in 
England or America. Indeed, a good and satisfactory system 
of patent law might almost be compiled from his decisions 
alone. It was a department of the law which he took par- 
ticular pleasure in studying and administering, where his 
quickness of apprehension and discriminating faculty found 
a congenial sphere, and he had a natural aptitude for compre- 
hending mechanical contrivances and inventions. His learn- 
ing and skill were guided by a liberal and generous spirit. 
In his eyes, the inventor was not a grasping monopolist, but 
a benefactor to his kind, whose substantial rights were never 
to be sacrificed to narrow technicalities; but were, if pos- 
sible, to be always protected against unauthorized inva- 
sion, though they came under the specious guise of seeming 

Upon the kindred subject of copyright, several important 
questions came before Judge Story during his judicial life; 
and his opinions therein have the same merits of liberal inter- 
pretation and equitable construction as mark his judgments 
in patent cases. 

To understand Judge Story's merits as a lawyer, he must 
be studied in his judgments, as contained in the Reports of 


Gallison, Mason, Sumner, and Story, exclusively devoted to his 
own circuit, as well as those found in the volumes of Cranch, 
Wheaton, and Peters, reporters of the Supreme Court of the 
United States. His text-books, admirable as they are, — afflu- 
ent in learning, luminous in exposition, and abundant in illus- 
tration, — can hardly claim the same comparative rank as his 
recorded opinions. In these, the powers of his mind found 
exactly the expression that was best adapted and most con- 
genial to them. The opinions of a judge in reported cases 
may be looked at in a twofold aspect : first, Are they correct 
as expositions of the law? and, second, What is their value as 
contributions to the literature of the profession? — and in 
both respects the opinions of Judge Story are of eminent 
w r orth. No man in America has done more to determine the 
law; and there is no one whose conclusions have been ac- 
cepted with more general assent by the profession. But a 
judgment upon an issue of law may be correct in point of 
fact, and yet furnish very little help to the future inquirer 
who is pursuing a similar path of investigation. But the 
great excellence of Judge Story's opinions consists in the flood 
of learning which he pours over the subject under considera- 
tion. Many of them may be received as authoritative and 
exhaustive expositions of the law at the time they were pro- 
nounced, making all further or collateral research superfluous. 
Thus to the student who is investigating a legal question, and 
not merely seeking the solution of a legal problem, his judg- 
ments have a value hardly equalled by any in the whole range 
of legal literature, whether English or American. This may 
seem a strong statement ; but it is not lightly made, and it 
could not be supported without going into a discussion which 
could be interesting, or indeed intelligible, only to the pro- 
fessional reader. 

As a nisi-jprius judge, presiding over jury trials, Judge 
Story was remarkable for the quickness of his perceptions, and 
the uniform courtesy with which he treated all who appeared 


before him. His mind was always rapid in its movements ; and 
few men that have studied so much have ever learned so 
quickly as he. Long familiarity with judicial duties had 
enlarged a power always great ; and upon the bench he dis- 
played a quickness of comprehension that was like intuition 
or inspiration. The many questions of evidence and. practice 
that came before him were decided without a moment's hesi- 
tation, and on grounds that were sufficient to any man who 
had not given up every thing to his client, and left nothing for 
the truth. His manners on the bench were the natural ex- 
pression of his sweetness of nature, and they had all the 
charm that belongs to what is true and spontaneous. His 
countenance always wore a winning and benignant look, and 
the longest and dullest case never seemed to throw over it 
the slightest cloud of gloom or irritability. And his courtesy 
was uniform, recognizing no distinction of age or professional 
rank. Indeed, his kindliness of heart inclined him to turn a 
countenance of peculiar favor to the young, the self-distrustful, 
and the unsuccessful. When he had occasion to suggest to a 
lawyer some case that he had overlooked, or some principle 
that had escaped him, he did it in a way that left no sting 
behind. He never indulged in sneers or sarcasm, and did not 
allow himself those judicial sallies, which, though they may 
make the by-standers smile, rarely fail to disconcert a sensitive 
advocate, already perhaps overburdened with the care of a 
difficult or hopeless case. 

But there is no judge that escapes criticism. In every 
case that is tried before a jury, one party must lose; and 
there are few lawyers that are philosophical enough to ascribe 
their defeat to essential defects in their law or their facts, still 
less to their own want of skill or tact. Thus Judge Story was 
sometimes accused of indicating, in his charges to the jury, a 
little too distinctly on which side he thought their verdict 
ought to be. If this were true, — and perhaps the charge is 
not wholly without truth, — it was because of his strong love 



of justice, and his earnestness of temperament ; and it is a 
very slight flaw in a judicial reputation of such unrivalled 

As a teacher, Judge Story was all that might be expected 
from his knowledge of the law, his love of the law, and his en- 
thusiastic and sympathetic temperament. Every pupil who 
came within the sphere of his influence felt the magnetism of 
his presence. His glowing countenance, his earnest manner, 
his cordial smile, acted with kindling and animating effect 
upon all. He was one of those men that never grow old ; and 
thus his perpetual youthfulness of spirit made him, so far as 
sympathy and comprehension went, the contemporary of his 
pupils to the last. He never lost his interest in his work ; the 
hour when he was to meet his classes was welcomed with 
delight ; and, when it had closed, he shut up his book and left 
his chair with regret. His long and varied experience at the 
bar and on the bench enabled him to illustrate the propo- 
sitions of the text-book upon which he was lecturing with a 
large number of apposite cases and appropriate anecdotes; and 
he was fond, occasionally, when the opportunity offered, of giv- 
ing his reminiscences of the great lawyers and advocates who 
had appeared before him. In his lecture-room there was nothing 
of formality or stiffness ; every thing was easy and unceremoni- 
ous ; the great lawyer and magistrate — too great to require any 
barriers to protect his dignity from a near approach — was 
the most familiar, and even playful, of men. But never was 
there for a moment, on the part of the young men who sat 
under his instructions, the slightest expression of disrespect. 
Never was the relation between them forgotten. His pupils 
felt for him a peculiar mixture of veneration, gratitude, and 
love. He became the personal friend of all who showed a 
right to his friendship by their talents, industry, and worth. 
In them he never lost his interest, and their fate and fortunes 
were followed by him to the last with an almost paternal 


The character of Judge Story as a man, what he was in the 
private and domestic relations of life, may easily be inferred 
from what has been before said. His marked traits were 
warmth and kindness of heart, quickness of sympathy, a 
freshness of feeling enduring to the last, an entire absence of 
self-assertion, a frank, open, unsuspicious temper, and a sweet- 
ness of nature, which nothing could change. As a son, brother, 
husband, father, and friend, he was all that duty could com- 
mand or affection inspire. He never lost a friend but by 
death ; and no man was more mindful of Dr. Johnson's injunc- 
tion to keep his friendships in repair. His latest friends were 
the children of those who started in life with him. Few men 
were ever more loved or more mourned than he. His judg- 
ment of men were kindly and charitable ; malice and bitter- 
ness were unknown to him; he not only never indulged in 
evil-speaking, but discouraged the practice in all, and reproved 
it in those whom he had a right to reprove. There was a 
peculiar charm in his presence, from his vivacity of feeling, 
his quick sympathy, and that youthfulness of heart which he 
kept to the last. There was nothing of torpor, languor, or 
apathy, either in his temperament or his manners. Much 
study was never a weariness to his spirit. After a long day 
of severe toil, joining the domestic circle, he would seem the 
gayest and youngest of the party, whoever might be present. 
He was very fond of society, though too busy to indulge him- 
self in it often. He was entirely independent of those amuse- 
ments in which most men of laborious lives find a grateful, if 
not a necessary, relief from the burden of habitual toil. He 
cared nothing for farming or gardening ; he probably never 
had a gun or a fishing-rod in his hands; he never played 
cards, or rode on horseback, or even took a walk for exercise. 
Occasionally, though very rarely, the presence of a great per- 
former tempted him to the theatre. He was fond of listening 
to music if it came in his way ; but he did not care enough 
about it to go after it. There was no pleasure he enjoyed so 


much as conversation, and it was his only relaxation. He was 
sometimes accused of taking more than his fair share of the 
discourse in mixed society ; but this was a charge never 
brought against him by his pupils, who were always happy to 
be listeners in his presence. 

To the honors of general scholarship Judge Story made no 
claim. His attainments in literature were mostly confined to 
his own language, and in this they were more than respect- 
able. In his youth, he had made himself well acquainted with 
the standard writers of England ; and he found time to read 
the popular authors that rose to distinction in his own day, 
from Byron and Scott to Dickens. Among the modern poets, 
his favorite was Crabbe. 

His style — formed at a time when the poetry of Darwin was 
admired, and the prose of Junius was thought the perfection 
of English — was always somewhat wanting in simplicity and 
compactness, though flowing, persuasive, and sometimes elo- 
quent. His literary productions, it should be remembered, 
were always written rapidly, to meet a particular occasion, 
and in moments stolen from professional toil. 

The life and character of Judge Story had the crowning 
grace of a strong and practical religious faith. He had a firm 
belief in the divine origin of Christianity, the result of reflec- 
tion and inquiry ; and he often expressed a purpose of writing 
a work in which the rules of legal evidence should be applied 
to the facts of the gospel narratives, and the question of their 
truth argued like a case in a court of justice. The joys and 
sorrows of his life were received by him as alike expressions 
of the will of God. He was submissive under trial, and deeply 
grateful for the blessings which had fallen to his lot. His life 
had been eminently successful, and, with the exception of the 
loss of so many children, it had been eminently happy. He 
has more than once said to the writer of this sketch, that the 
honors he had earned and the position he had won were far 
above the fondest dreams of. his youth. His gratitude to God 


was a strong personal feeling, like that of an affectionate child 
to a wise and loving father. He had, in a large measure, the 
Christian virtue of humility. No man ever assumed less or 
claimed less for himself than he. A man's character is never 
fully gauged till we know what he was to his inferiors, — his 
children, his servants, and his dependants. No man would have 
borne this test better than Judge Story,* for he was best loved 
by those who stood the nearest to him and saw the most of 
him. He was kind to all and courteous to all, simply because 
kindness and courtesy were a part of his nature, and never 
had to be put on. In his declining years, his conversation 
and society had peculiar attractions for the young; and the 
main reason of this was, that he never claimed any superiority 
over them, either by reason of age or high place. He mingled 
with them as an equal, sympathized with them as an equal ; 
so that the shy and sensitive student who went into his presence 
with fear and trembling, became his trusting friend, and often 
opened to him the most secret chambers of his heart. His 
influence over the young was always for good. He spurred 
the indolent, encouraged the desponding, and confirmed the 

Alike by precept and example, he discouraged harsh judg- 
ments, evil-speaking, and the spirit of strife. He was very 
fond of enforcing and dilating upon the truth, that no man ever 
stands in another man's way. The world, he said, was wide 
enough for all ; and, if any one lacked advancement, it was *his 
own misfortune or his own fault, and not the fault of any one 



A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, May 14, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; 
Colonel Aspinwall in the chair. 

The Secretary read the records of the last meeting. 

The Librarian announced donations from the City of 
Boston ; the City of Roxbury ; the Town of Conway, 
Mass. ; the Boston Board of Trade ; the Mercantile Libra- 
ry Company of Philadelphia ; the New-England Loyal 
Publication Society ; the Royal Society of Northern An- 
tiquaries ; the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and Nat- 
ural History ; the Trustees of Bowdoin College ; the 
Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston; 
the Editors of the " Advocate " ; the Proprietors of the 
" Heraldic Journal " ; the Publishers of the " American 
Athenaeum"; the Publishers of the "Book Buyer"; 
John Appleton, M.D. ; William S. Appleton, Esq. ; 
W. K. Bowling, Esq. ; George E. Chambers, Esq. ; 
Elliot C. Cowdin, Esq. ; Mr. Andrew Cushing ; Charles 
H. S. Davis, M.D. ; Ira A. Divoll, Esq. ; Pliny Earle, 
Esq. ; W. O. Eaton, Esq. ; A. T. Goodman, Esq. ; Capt. 
William F. Goodwin; Mrs. Phebe A. Hanaford; 
Baron Heath ; Edward Jarvis, M.D. ; Mr. Levi Ladd ; 
Mr. James S. Loring ; Daniel D. Slade, M.D. ; Hon. 
Charles Sumner; William B. Towne, Esq.; D. Ull- 
mann ; and from Messrs. Aspinwall, Deane, Denny, 
Eliot, Ellis, Green, Lawrence, Metcalf, Minot, C. Rob- 
bins, Smith, and Stearns, of the Society. 

1868.] MAY MEETING. 207 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter from the 
publishing house of Robert Clarke & Co., of Cincinnati, 
saying that they propose to republish Harris's " Journal 
of a Tour into the . . . State of Ohio," in 1803 ; and they 
ask permission to prefix thereto a Memoir of Dr. Harris, 
in volume one, fourth series of this Society's Collections. 
On motion of Dr. Bobbins, it was — 

Voted, That the request of Messrs. Robert Clarke & 
Co. be granted, on condition that they acknowledge, in 
reprinting the Memoir, the source whence it was ob- 

Dr. Robbins presented, in the name of the proprie- 
tors and deacons of the New South Church in Boston, 
the original records and papers of that corporation, for 
which the thanks of the Society were ordered. 

Mr. Brigham exhibited and presented to the Society 
a " Plat of that Tract of Country in the Territory 
Northwest of the Ohio, appropriated for Military Ser- 
vices, and described in the Act of Congress, intituled 
' An Act regulating the grants of Land appropriated for 
Military Services, and for the Society of United Brethren 
for propagating the Gospel among the Heathen,' — 
Survey 'd under the direction of Rufus Putnam, Sur- 
veyor General to the United States." The plan is de- 
scribed as " Part of the Seven Ranges Survey'd agree- 
able to the Ordinance of Congress, of May 20, 1785." 

Col. Aspinwall spoke in fitting terms of the death 
of the Hon. W. C. Rives, a Corresponding Member. 

Mr. Deane read an extract from a letter of the Hon. 
H. B. Grigsby, a Corresponding Member, in which he 
spoke in a feeling manner of his personal loss in the 
death of Mr. Rives. 


Mr. Charles H. Hart, of Philadelphia, presented by 
letter, dated March 2d, copies of two original letters in 
his possession, which he said had never been printed. 
They here follow. 

John Adams to . 

Philadelphia, April 2 a . 1776. 

Dear Sir, — This will go by my worthy Brother Dana, who is 
returned as he went, a very good Whigg, and much more abundantly. 

I hope he will be appointed a Judge or Attorney General imme- 
diately, as he is extreamly well qualified for either. 

Since my return to this place, I have lived in tolerable good Humour 
with our old Friend, notwithstanding the rash anger he expressed in 
certain letters. 

I have had no Conversations between him and me concerning his 
seat upon a certain Bench. He has not said positively, but perhaps, 
if the Place should be left open till his Return, which probably will 
not be very long, for a visit at least, he may be induced to accept. For 
my own Part I wish he might. I have ever lived in Friendship with 
him, untill in the Month of August last he was pleased to quarrell 
with me, chiefly on account of some Important Points of Rank, I sup- 
pose — But these I \_a word omitted in the copy,~\ to be blown over. 

The Evacuation of Boston is a great Event, and if wisely improved 
will be a decisive one. — But we must fortify the Harbour. I must 
intreat you to let me know, with what Quantities of Powder you are 
likely to be supplied, and what Cannon you have, or can get, or what 
you want. 

Perhaps we might obtain some assistance from the Continent, in 
fortifying that Harbour, if we knew what assistance you would want, — 
let us know and we will try. 

The Tories, I think, will never loose sight of that Town ; if they can 
possibly prevail on the Ministry to set on foot another Expedition 
against it, they will. — They will pursue it with a Bitterness and 
Severity inexpressible. 

Fortify, Fortify, and never let them get in again. 

We continue still between Hawk and Buzzard. — Some People, 
yet expect Commissioners, to treat with Congress, — and to offer a 
Chart blanc. All declare if they do not come impowered to treat with 
us, and grant us our Bill of Rights, in every Iota, they will hesitate 
no longer. 


I wish I could enter into an unrefined Detail — But I dare not. 
I think we shall do pretty well ; the Conventions are now about meet- 
ing every where, and we expect assistance from them. 
In great Haste, 


Pray let us know how much Powder you have furnished to the 
Continental Army, from the Magazines of the Province, or of Town 
Stocks. Because if we knew how much, we would endeavour to have 
it reimbursed to you. We must get those Town Stocks replaced, and 
the Colonial Magazine refurnished. 

Indorsed, — " Hon ble J. Adams, 
April 2d 1776." 

General Greene to Governor Jefferson. 

Camp on Pedeje, January 1st, 1781. 
Sir, — This will be handed your Excellency by Cap* Watts, who 
is ordered to Virginia to recruit for the first Regiment of Light 
Dragoons. Cavalry is of great importance to the service in this 
department, and I must beg your Excellency to give every aid in your 
power, to fill the Regiment as soon as possible, and that immediate 
measures may be taken for compleating the complement of horse re- 
quired of your State for the first and third Regiments. It will promote 
the service and give great security to the Army, if all the Dragoons are 
picked men, and natives of America ; as foreigners frequently desert, 
and give intelligence to the Enemy in an unfavorable moment, and gen- 
erally carry off with them a very valuable horse with all the accoutre- 
ments. For these and many other reasons which might be mentioned, 
I am clearly of opinion that none but natives ought to be in the 
Cavalry, and even those ought to be of the better order of men, as so 
much frequently depends upon the information of a single dragoon. 

I persuade myself this business is of such importance, as this Army 
is very weak in Cavalry and the enemy greatly reinforced, that your 
Excellency will give the business all the dispatch that the nature of it 
will admit. 

Col. White will furnish your Excellency with a return of the 
strength of the Regiment. I am, with great respect, 

Your Excellency's Most Obed.' Humble Serv 

Nath. Greene. 

Hia Excellency Gov? Jefferson. 



Suitable acknowledgments were ordered for these 

The Cabinet-keeper, Mr. Denny, from the Committee 
appointed at the last meeting to report to the Society 
on the pictures, maps, &c, relating specially to the 
local history of Boston, made a brief report; namely, 
That a meeting of the Committee was held on the 7th 
inst. at which the following votes were passed : — 

Voted, That the Chairman and Mr. Whitmore prepare 
a list of articles, now in the possession of the Society, 
which, it is thought, should be transferred to another 
room where they can be brought together. 

Voted, That the Committee ask for authority to peti- 
tion the City Government for the use of a room for this 
purpose in the City Hall. 

Among the articles indicated by the Committee as 
desirable to be removed to such a room, if procured, 
are the following : — 

Royal Arms which formerly hung in front of the 
" Province House." 

Capital of one of the columns of the house of Gov. 

Fifth-of- March engraving. 

Tea, thrown into Boston Harbor, in December, 1773. 

Types used by Franklin. 

No motion was made in reference to the above report, 
and therefore no action was taken by the Society. 

Richard Henry Major, Esq., F.S.A., of the British 
Museum, was elected a Corresponding Member. 

Dr. Ellis announced the Memoir of Jared Sparks as 
ready for publication. 







The preparation of the following Memoir of our late Vice- 
President and most distinguished associate has been to the 
writer a grateful labor of respect and affection. The very 
moderate conditions and the limited treatment which the 
usage of the Society prescribes for memorials of its deceased 
members, offer alike facilities and embarrassments when the 
subject of such a tribute was himself eminent, great, and 
good ; when he had performed large and valuable labors, 
and gained a wide fame. Jared Sparks is entitled to a full 
biography. Tl^e service which he performed for so many 
others, who in public or private life had won distinction, or 
added to the wealth, the wisdom, and the happiness of 
humanity, might indeed secure for him, indirectly, a record 
on the historic page. But the story of his own career ; the 
qualities of his character, illustrating so many noble virtues ; 
the stations which he filled with ability, fidelity, and honor ; the 
range of subjects covered by his investigations for literary, 
religious, biographical, and historical productions ; his inter- 
course, acquaintance, and correspondence with eminent persons, 
and the example and influence which he has left for the guid- 
ance and encouragement of all who are benefited by the well- 


filled round of his years, — all these elements of interest and 
grounds of commemoration have provided abundant materials 
for an elaborate exposition of his career, and established his 
claim to it. 

Such a biography of Dr. Sparks, whenever and by whomso- 
ever it may be prepared, if consistent with his own character and 
course, will be a solid and severely simple rehearsal of a life and 
a career of an eminently laborious sort. He was neither a poet 
nor an enthusiast. He had no skill in fine writing. His pages 
are seldom kindled with any glow of fervor, or ornamented 
with any peculiar arts of rhetoric or wealth of imagination. 
He was not a man of theories. He might have easily won, as 
he certainly would have filled with conspicuous ability, and 
with a rare nobleness of integrity, the highest political offices. 
But these had no attractions for him. The simple, modest, 
and quiet qualities of his nature, and the personal habits which 
he cultivated as most favorable to the chosen work of his life, 
were happily consistent with all the occasions and positions 
which called him from the privacy of his study into larger in- 
tercourse with the world. Even the variety of the tasks which 
he performed, and the sphere and places of his professional 
employments, were not of a sort, or were not sufficient, to re- 
quire of him any large versatility of talents or much change of 
habits. The work to which he chiefly gave himself was of his 
own choice, congenial, and worthy of the painstaking research, 
industry, and judicial method of treatment which his own men- 
tal and moral constitution fitted him to devote to it. With all 
his voluminous papers in hand, in his own strong characteristic 
chirography, his biographer will have an engaging and an ex- 
acting task. 

Leaving, then, to the biographer of Dr. Sparks the appropri- 
ate and responsible work which the subject will require, the 
writer of these pages gives himself to an easier task, largely 
relieved of responsibility, and for the most part suggestive only 
of pleasure. The Historical Society asks a memorial, not a 


biography. The writing of it seems substantially like the 
preparation of a prefatory sketch to the historical department 
of American literature, introducing to the reader that one 
laborious and faithful scholar and investigator who holds a 
relation to it in which he will probably always remain without 
a superior. The following pages must be mainly conformed to 
this intent ; and, though the writer is well aware that the other 
attractions of his subject will lead him often from the one 
thread of narration prescribed for him, he means still to be 
sure that he is following it. Recognizing most heartily and 
gratefully the personal qualities which made Dr. Sparks so be- 
loved, honored, and revered by all who knew him, he must be 
spoken of and traced here through a long life of quiet literary 
toil, as he heaped around him the volumes which are his best 
memorial. The school-room, the academic hall, the pastor's 
study, and the preparation of a series of household libraries, 
are the places and the occupations through which we are to 
trace him. The members of our Society will remember that 
when, on the evening of April 3, 1866, within three weeks after 
his decease, for the third time only yielding the rule of cau- 
tion which forbids the lighting of our halls, — Prescott and 
Everett having furnished the occasions for the previous breaches 
of that rule, — we met under the fresh burden of our sorrow, 
his noble presence was represented to us by an admirable 
bust,* and that upon the table were spread more than an hun- 
dred volumes, chiefly in octavo, the fruits of his original or 
editorial labors. Of the man, the mind, and the life, whose 
substantial accomplishments were thus silently addressing us 
then, the following pages will offer quite a different reminder. 

Jared Sparks was born May 10, 1789, in the town of Wil- 
mington, on Willimantic River, Tolland County, Conn. That 
inland town, in the northern part of the State, and thus re- 
moved from the salt-water margin, was a quiet, rural spot, with 

* A cast from a marble bust, by Hiram Powers, " presented to Harvard College by 
the students under his Presidency." 


its farms and mill-streams, the scenes of hard labor and of the 
homes of a simple, frugal people. It offered, like all New- 
England towns, the opportunities of a rudimentary education 
for the children born in it ; and if any of those children felt 
the craving, and had the capacity, for more of culture or 
a wider range than it could furnish, there were hard roads 
leading from it in various directions. It was, however, by the 
good use of such advantages as the quiet place of his birth 
afforded him, and by winning the respect and encouragement 
of its leading inhabitants, that young Sparks was set forward 
in the way of higher privileges. His mother, whose maiden 
name was Eleanor Orcutt, though living in humble circum- 
stances, amid straits and conditions unfavorable to intellectual 
culture, was fond of books, and, though she seems to have been 
marked by some peculiarities of temperament, had a strongly 
endowed and active mind. In her later years she was for some 
time an inmate of her son's home, while he was residing in^ 
Cambridge in 1834. She died in Willington, May 2, 1843. Her 
mother, Bethiah Parker, is reported to have been not only 
addicted to much reading, but also given to writing her own 
musings and thinkings, sometimes in a prophetical strain, in 
prose and verse. Though young Sparks had no relations able 
to foster the promise or to contribute to the first training of his 
intellect in his childhood, he found himself able and willing in 
his mature years to render much substantial service to his near- 
est of kin. A childless sister of his mother, Mrs. Ebenezer 
Eldredge, and her husband, seem to have shared largely in the 
oversight of his early years, and to have had him with them at 
intervals at their home, in Washington County, N.Y. 

He began very early to use his pen for recording dates and 
events of interest to himself. It appears from his papers that 
before he was five years old he was a pupil, and that from 1796, 
on to 1804, he was at school a few weeks in each year under 
the various teachers provided in the district. After the last- 
named date his privileges of this kind were even more frag- 


mentary and irregular, till the period of his pupilage blends 
with his undertaking the trade of a carpenter, and becoming a 
district-school teacher himself. It may be worth while to re- 
peat here what he thought worthy of a minutely accurate 
record. From the fifth to the tenth year of his age he was at 
school about five months in a year ; from the tenth to the 
sixteenth, two months in each year. At the age of sixteen, 
doubtless having in view the immediate turning of his acquisi- 
tions to account, he spent four months as a pupil. Thus he 
enjoyed for forty months, before he had completed his twenti- 
eth year, those opportunities in the diligent use of which he laid 
the foundation for his subsequent thorough and varied scholar- 
ship. The selectmen of the neighboring town of Tolland were 
glad to give him congenial occupation in one of their own dis- 
trict schools, and the leisure hours which he found after doing 
his duty here; and also industriously gaining what little he 
could from his handicraft, were spent in his favorite study of 
mathematics and the practical principles of astronomy. He 
closed his school in March, 1809, and put himself under the 
instruction of the minister of Willington, the Rev. Hubbell 
Loomis, afterwards the head of Shurtleff College, at Altoona, 
111. This kind and judicious friend — still living at a very ad- 
vanced age — undertook to aid his pupil in the mathematics; 
the compensation agreed upon being one dollar a week. To eke 
out his funds, young Sparks shingled his barn for ten dollars. 
The pupil had already borrowed of a sailor a book on Naviga- 
tion. His slender purse, of course, was furnished from his 

It was while the subject of this Memoir was thus seeking by 
bodily labor to secure intellectual acquisitions, that a circum- 
stance occurred which is regarded as the critical turriing-point 
for deciding the subsequent direction of his life. The Rev. 
Abiel Abbot, pastor of the First Church in the neighboring 
town of Coventry, Conn., and cousin of the famous and revered 
Dr. Benjamin Abbot, Principal of Phillips Academy at Exeter, 


N.H., was at that time engaged with his brother-ministers in 
one of those local religious controversies which have so fre- 
quently excited, quickened, and gradually liberalized the minds 
of the people of New England. Young Sparks was in the 
very centre of the strife and the discussion caused by this con- 
troversy ; and the views and profession which he afterwards 
adopted indicate that he must have taken a lively interest in it, 
and may possibly have received from it impressions and con- 
victions of prime influence on his own religious opinions. 
According to the standard of the consociated Churches of Con- 
necticut, which was Calvinistic and Trinitarian, Mr. Abbot was 
pronounced " heretical," as he certainly was, being in uncon- 
cealed sympathy with a class of divines then numerous in 
Massachusetts, but strongly opposed in Connecticut. It ap- 
peared that the Church body or communicants in his parish, 
under the prompting or encouragement of some of the conso- 
ciated pastors, felt bound to discipline him for his heresies, and 
to remove him from his office ; while a vote of the parishioners, 
that is, of the society at large, by whom he was warmly loved 
and highly esteemed for his virtues, indicated a desire that he 
should remain as their minister. The controversy, which 
soon after resulted in the displacement of Mr. Abbot, was in 
progress when he was one day making a brotherly visit to his 
neighbor, the Rev. Mr. Loomis. Though we may well imagine 
what was to them the more engrossing interest of their inter- 
view, an episode in the visit proved of high advantage to young 
Sparks. He was called in by Mr. Loomis, that Mr. Abbot 
might hear the young carpenter translate a passage from Virgil. 
Struck by the promise and attainments of the scholar, who was 
reading Tirgil at the rate of two hundred lines a day, eight 
weeks after he had begun the study of Latin, and being in- 
formed of his strong desire for advancement in pursuits so 
congenial to him, but which his circumstances seemed to pre- 
clude, the visitor happily had a resource to suggest which 
proved available. He knew that provision had been made in 


his cousin's academy at Exeter, for furnishing free tuition and 
other helps for meritorious students ; and he promised to use 
his influence to obtain assistance there for one who seemed so 
worthy of the patronage. His application was successful. An 
arrangement was made by which the pupil, relying on his own 
strong limbs, should go on foot to Exeter, — a distance of one 
hundred and twenty miles, — which he accomplished by leaving 
Willington on the 4th of September, 1809, and reaching his des- 
tination on^the 7th. Mr. Abbot and his wife being about to visit 
Exeter, near the same time, travelled in their own chaise, car- 
rying Sparks's trunk, doubtless a miscellaneous repository, with 
more of other things in it than of clothing, suspended from the 
axle. Mr. Loomis had suggested to the young scholar that 
the advantages which he was seeking justified him in incur- 
ring a small debt. But debt was a fearful word to Mr. Sparks, 
and it was with reluctance that he borrowed a small sum from 
Mr. Loomis as he started for Exeter. 

The writer of these pages recalls vividly and pleasantly a 
circumstance illustrating the life-long gratitude of Mr. Sparks 
to Mr. Abbot. During his presidency of the college, and after 
his retirement from it, I was in the habit, after the perform- 
ance of certain official duties at Cambridge, of occasionally 
calling at his door on a pleasant afternoon, and inviting 
him to a drive around the neighborhood. If I had no special 
direction in view, I would leave the choice to him. More than 
once he said, " If you have no choice, I should prefer, above all 
things, to call on good old Dr. Abbot." He was then living 
in extreme old age with his grandson, the late Rev. Samuel 
Abbot Smith, minister of the First Church in West Cambridge, 
now Arlington. The venerable divine had served a long pro- 
fessional course in two parishes after his removal from Coven- 
try. On the way, Mr. Sparks said of him, " To that venerable 
and dear old man I owe more than to any of the many good 
friends I have had all my life." He then related the circum- 



stances just mentioned. It was a delightful scene to witness 
their mutual greetings, and to think of their former relations. 

Exeter has been the training-school of a large number of the 
scholars of New England during the last two generations, 
affording them preparation for college. Webster, Cass, Buck- 
minster, and the Everetts have been only more conspicuous 
among a multitude of its distinguished pupils who are no longer 
living. Sparks reached there on the same day with his life-long 
friend, Palfrey. Bancroft joined them in 1811. But, while he 
shared the privileges of the academy, Sparks's circumstances 
compelled him to use the vacations, and even to encroach on 
term-time, to obtain a slight but needful emolument from teach- 
ing. From the 11th of December, 1810, to the 8th of March, 
1811, when he returned to Exeter, he was engaged in a school 
at Rochester, N.H. Indeed, as it had been in the school-years 
of his childhood, and was in his course at Exeter, so, as we 
shall see, after he had entered college, a good part, perhaps the 
best part, of his own training and acquisitions was attained 
through the stimulus of a necessity to turn them at once to 
account, as the condition of his own continued progress. He 
certainly had a fair opportunity to test the assertion, so reason- 
able in itself, that no one learns to the best purpose unless with 
a view to impart, with the most facility and satisfaction to him- 
self, whatever he knows. 

On the 26th of August, 1811, Mr.Sparks went to Cambridge 
and passed his examination for admission to Harvard College. 
He was then in his twenty-third year, an age which at that 
period the large majority of the students had not reached even 
when they had passed through the course, and which some, 
like Buckminster and Edward Everett, fell short of, after they 
had completed professional studies consequent upon their 
graduation, and had begun their public career. But this 
maturity of years at the entrance upon his college course was 
fully compensated to the student by assuring to him a more 
just appreciation of his opportunities, and a more diligent 


improvement of them, than generally attend the youthfulness 
of those who have a much earlier start. 

Mr. Sparks spent the vacation following his admission to 
college, in Connecticut, encroaching a week on term-time, as 
he makes record of, and entering upon his studies September 
25. He was occasionally a sufferer then, as he was to a 
degree through his whole subsequent life, from ill-health in 
forms which, when not absolutely incapacitating him for lit- 
erary labor, made application and composition difficult, and 
had upon him a depressing influence. He found from the 
first, and always, a most devoted and helpful friend in Presi- 
dent Kirkland, whose benignant beauty and grace of feature, 
and whose lovable qualities of character, won the warm 
affections alike of those of his pupils who shared the benefits 
of his sound wisdom, or felt the influence of his gentle dis- 
cipline. It seems to those of us who saw Dr. Kirkland only 
in the milder radiance of his declining days, and know of 
his administration only through the relations and fond memo- 
ries of those whose undergraduate and professional course he 
fostered, that he stands on the roll of college Presidents as 
the most beloved and revered. Childless himself, he was 
a father in interest and affection to all who came under his 
mild control. His personal qualities and the love which 
attended him are now becoming traditions in the college halls. 
Any memorial of Mr. Sparks which omitted a hearty recogni- 
tion of his obligation and gratitude to President Kirkland, 
would pain him more than an oversight which should leave 
some of his own highest services unnoticed. 

There were many others then associated in the government 
and instruction of the college in intercourse with whom Mr. 
Sparks, because of his own ripe years and gravity of character, 
would enjoy more familiarity, and receive a more direct benefit, 
than would accrue to younger or less earnest students. Ware, 
Norton, Hedge, McKean, Willard, Everett, Farrar, and Peck 
then composed a large part of the working force of the college. 


Each of them did service honorably estimated there, and effective 
and remembered through the whole community.* 

Mr. Sparks received the benefit of a scholarship founded 
within half a century after the birth of the college, by William 
Pennoyer, an English merchant. His class graduating sixty- 
six members, and comprising a larger number than any class 
that had preceded it, was also, as a whole, distinguished for 
ability and for devotion to study. In running the eye over the 
list in the Catalogue, we meet the names of very many honored 
and able in every sphere of influence, as members of Congress, 
professors of colleges, and as eminent in law, medicine, theol- 
ogy, and literature. Mr. Sparks is said to have stood at the 
head in mathematics, with a very high general rank. But he 
was not by any means to enjoy a continuous period of four 
years' residence and study, broken only by vacations. Hardly 
even half of the college term-time found him in his place in the 
class. He had to earn, for the most part, that by which he 
lived, and to take his text-books and borrowed volumes with 
him, as he went off at intervals in vacations and in term-time, 
to ply his abilities as a teacher. From the 17th of December, 

1811, to the 26th of February, 1812, when he returned to col- 
lege, he taught a country school in Bolton, Mass. March 20, 

1812, he left Cambridge again for a longer absence, and at 
what he felt to be a serious sacrifice. He went to accept a 
situation offered to him, as private tutor in the family of 
Mark Pringle, Esq., at Havre de Grace, Maryland. Here 
he remained at his work fifteen months, a special indulgence 
having been extended to him through the influence of Presi- 
dent Kirkland. The following pleasant incident is related 
by our associate, the Rev. Dr. Newell, of Cambridge, pastor 

* Some very pleasant and interesting sketches of college membership, life, and 
discipline, during Mr. Sparks's course, as well as much information about the literary- 
enterprises in which he was soon to have a share, and in which he was to become so 
conspicuous a leader, may be found in a publication, prepared in his old age, by Profes- 
sor Sidney Willard, entitled, " Memories of Youth and Manhood. By Sidney Willard." 
Cambridge: John Bartlett, 1855. 2 vols. 12mo. 


of Dr. Sparks, in a memorial discourse preached by him March 

18,1866: — 

" Soon after his arrival at Havre de Grace, while he was staying at 
the public-house in that place, in a dejected state of mind, occasioned 
by some disappointment of his expectations * and the loneliness of his 
situation, among people of a quite different spirit and training from his 
own, two gentlemen, travellers on their way to Washington, came to 
the inn. A beautiful island in the Susquehanna attracted their atten- 
tion, and one of them procured a boat, and invited Mr. Sparks, whom 
they had met on the piazza, a stranger to them both, to accompany him 
to the place. After a delightful excursion, and a walk around the 
island, intensely enjoyed by Mr. Sparks in the pleasant society and con- 
versation of the new-comer, who treated him with double cordiality on 
finding that the young man was a student of Harvard, as he was him- 
self a graduate of the college, the Hon. Josiah Quincy, then repre- 
sentative in Congress, as the stranger proved to be, returned to the 
inn, and introduced Mr. Sparks to his companion, the Rev. Dr. Chan- 
ning. The interview gave the forlorn and struggling student new life 
and spirit. Dr. Channing, who had himself had a similar experience in 
teaching in Virginia, refreshed and strengthened him by words of sym- 
pathy, counsel, and good cheer. And his new friends were his warm 
friends ever after. The imagination dwells with interest on the picture of 
this first meeting of his, at the Southern inn, on the roacj to Baltimore 
and Washington, with those two distinguished men, little dreaming 
of the after-events which were to connect them so intimately with 
the youthful scholar, the one as the famous preacher of his ordination 
sermon, the other as his predecessor in the Presidency of Harvard 
University, as well as his neighbor and associate for many years in 
Cambridge, where Mr. Sparks lived and died, in the street called by 
the name of his honored friend." 

That Mr. Sparks turned the long period of his constrained 
absence from Cambridge as a domestic tutor to good account, 
is to be inferred from the use to which he evidently improved 
his opportunities here, and soon after in Baltimore, in extending 
the range of his acquaintanceship with men, and in enlarging 

* Of a large part of the salary which he and his friends understood that he was to 
receive. , 


his field of observation, study, and interest. His own inti- 
mate friends, after he had reached middle life, were generally 
much impressed by his entire freedom from provincialism and 
sectionalism. He soon rid himself of what is called New- 
England narrowness, with the limitations which it implies. 
The breadth of mind and the nationality of view which were so 
marked in him, had been acquired by his incidental intercourse 
with people in the middle and southern portions of the country. 
He availed himself of the most transient chances of a winter 
journey, or of a summer sojourn at a watering-place, to open 
conversations or to draw out the characteristic qualities of 
representative persons which would add to his general or 
special knowledge. It is observable from his own private, 
miscellaneous papers, in which he set down in fragmentary or 
suggestive hints the subjects on which he might, at some time, 
choose to write, that his interest extended over a very wide 
field. When, afterwards, he set himself to elaborate one or 
another of the subjects of biography or of history which he so 
thoroughly wrought, he seems to have known at the start what 
materials there were, and in what directions he was to look for 
them. This knowledge extended in many cases to the names 
of persons or families having in their keeping the papers he 
would need. When, as in the preparation of his " Library of 
American Biography," he called in the aid of other writers, 
reserving to himself only an editorial responsibility, his corre- 
spondence with his contributors would direct their attention 
and investigation to points which might not otherwise have 
occurred to them. Though these remarks may seem in antici- 
pation of comment on pursuits not yet engaged in by Mr. 
Sparks, they are not irrelevant as connected with his residence 
at Havre de Grace while yet an undergraduate. He was there 
in training for his future special work, and made what might 
otherwise have been an irksome absence from more congenial 
scenes, to yield him discipline and advantages. He had even 
a little military experience there. When Admiral Cockburn 


assaulted, fired, and plundered the town, May 3, 1813, Mr. 
Sparks did duty as a private in the Maryland militia. He was 
therefore well qualified as an eye-witness of what then took 
place, to write, as he afterwards did,* a trustworthy account of 
transactions which had been erroneously related in some pub- 
lished statements. At the close of his engagement at Havre 
de Grace, he returned to Cambridge, and graduated with his 
class, in high honor, in 1815. He had chosen for a profession 
the Christian ministry, and his studies were directed with 
reference to it. But still he had to teach, in order that he 
might learn. By the influence of friends and patrons, he was 
led to undertake a private school in the beautiful town of Lan- 
caster, Mass., planted in one of the loveliest curves of the 
valley of the Nashua, and shading with its graceful elms the 
homes of many refined, intelligent, and prosperous families. 
With the honored and revered Nathaniel Thayer, D.D., for 
nearly half a century the sole pastor of the only church there, a 
divine of the old-school graces of true piety, urbanity, and 
personal dignity, Mr. Sparks found most hearty companion- 
ship. Dr. Thayer also directed the student's inquiries in his 
theological culture. 

The writer of this Memoir has the great privilege of intro- 
ducing here the substance of a letter which his own solicitation 
drew from his esteemed friend, the Rev. Christopher T. Thayer, 
late pastor of the First Church in Beverly, a son of Dr. Thayer, 
and a pupil in Mr. Sparks's school. 

Boston, June 14, 1867. 
Rev. Dr. Ellis. 

My dear Sir, — I am happy to comply with your request, that I 
would furnish you with my own or others' recollections of the con- 
nections and associations of the revered and beloved President Sparks, 
with my native place, Lancaster, Mass. It is, nevertheless, a melan- 
choly pleasure I take in so doing ; for I have never known the man 
toward whom, next to my real father, I have cherished more of filial 

* In the " North- American Review" for July, 1817. 


feeling than toward him. I miss, more and more, the sight of his 
serene, cheerful, earnest, intellectual, and spiritual countenance, and 
the genial, cordial, almost parental, greetings which, from my early 
youth, he ever gave me as a pupil and friend. 

In the year 1815, several gentlemen of Lancaster and the neighbor- 
ing town of Bolton, where Mr. Sparks had previously taught, with 
much acceptance, a district school, engaged him to conduct a private 
one for boys ; which he entered upon a few months before his graduating, 
and continued in till called to a tutorship at Cambridge. From his 
first entrance to the school-room, his commanding presence secured for 
him the respect of his pupils, and he soon won their confidence and 
affection. His discipline was truly paternal. He governed well, yet 
with a happy faculty of not seeming to govern. Without any particu- 
lar fondness for the duties of instruction, being in fact too much pos- 
sessed with a desire of acquiring knowledge, to be quite content with 
imparting its earlier and simpler lessons, still he was decidedly success- 
ful as a teacher. Especially did he, by both precept and his own bright 
example, inspire the youths under his charge with the love of study 
for itself and its fruits, and animate them to the diligent and con- 
scientious use of their talents and privileges. Though but a year and 
a quarter in the school, he placed it on a foundation which, built upon 
by such masters and scholars, successively, as Proctor, Emerson, Miles, 
Wood, and Fletcher, has made it the rich means of early training to 
many who, in Church and State, in the professions, in art, and in the 
walks of business, have attained distinction and usefulness. 

Then, as always, he was remarkable for improvement of time, gather- 
ing up the fragments of it which are so frequently wasted. During 
school hours, in the intervals between recitations, or the times of 
recess, or any unoccupied space, he would usually be engaged with 
book or pen, or in deep meditation. At that period he was not only 
occupied much in merely literary pursuits and contributing to periodi- 
cals of the day, but took strong interest in theological subjects. I 
remember being deeply interested in consultations and discussions at 
my home, respecting them, in which he bore an active part, though 
myself at that time too young to appreciate or comprehend them. 
Notwithstanding he was then engrossed by labor and study, he yet 
found opportunity to mingle in scenes gay as well as grave. He 
joined the village assemblies ; and, while he associated in the evening 
with some who came under his rule by day, such was his discretion 
and perfect propriety of demeanor, that he made no compromise 


of his dignity or influence. With several families, constituting a 
very intelligent, refined, and delightful society, he was on intimate 
terms, and had much social enjoyment ; preserving with them a life-long 
intimacy, that was mutually and highly valued. His associations with 
Lancaster, with its people and scenery, and with those who had been 
his pupils (whom he familiarly called his boys), were topics he recurred 
to often and with evident gratification. Like Dr. Channing, with whose 
name his, ever since the great Baltimore sermon was delivered, has 
been indissolubly connected, and who also, in his college days, was a 
teacher at Lancaster, he delighted to revisit that charming valley, and 
find refreshment, in its quiet air and beautiful scenes, for both body and 
mind. The last summer of his life, he visited my brother's family 
there ; and, during his visit, never tired of going over old walks and 
drives, conversing of friends living and gone, looking up former 
acquaintances and pupils in that and the neighboring towns ; and he 
pointed, as he stood in his antiquated school-room, — which he was 
much pleased with finding in existence, though now converted to other 
uses, — to the places where several of his scholars were seated, as being 
freshly remembered. He repeatedly alluded afterwards to the days he 
thus passed, as having afforded him great enjoyment. 

When I first saw and came under the instruction of Mr. Sparks, I 
was only in my tenth year, and therefore could claim small title to 
just judgment of men or things. Yet I confess, that, after the long 
time that has since elapsed, I have known no person respecting whom 
my first impressions and anticipations less required to be revised or 
altered. Little precocity, even then, was requisite to recognize that 
majestic presence, that msfnly bearing, those noble features showing the 
unmistakable stamp of nature's nobility, that aspect at once intelligent 
and benignant; the soul, frank, generous, upright and true; simpli- 
city and singleness of mind, feeling, and purpose ; genuine consistency 
that might be expected to, as it did, pervade his entire life, — the 
consistency of unswerving loyalty to principle and right; a balance, 
moreover, of powers and qualities by which he was formed to be one of 
the pillars on which the best interests of human society might safely 
rest, and which peculiarly fitted him for his chief work of apprehending 
and illustrating the life and character of Washington, making it, in a 
degree, a reflection of his own consciousness, and, more, what it really 
was, a labor of love. 

Gladly, lovingly, would we — and when I say we, how many are 
included ! — have retained him among us much longer. . . . 



Mention has already been made of Mr. Sparks's proficiency 
and eminence, during his college course, in the study of mathe- 
matics. In his senior year he had gained the Bowdoin Prize 
for a Dissertation on the Physical Discoveries of Sir Isaac 
Newton. This dissertation was, at the time, regarded as 
exhibiting extraordinary ability and powers of apprehending 
and judging. It was long referred to as a college exercise, 
which, while it won high honor for its writer, set a high mark 
for subsequent competitors. Mr. Sparks was, therefore, very 
naturally recalled to the college, when there was a vacant 
place for him, in 1817, as Tutor in Geometry, Astronomy, and 
Natural Philosophy. This service would not, however, seem 
to have been the preference dictated by his own visions and 
schemings for the immediate trial of his manhood. He had 
been strongly interested, through Ledyard's and Parks's enter- 
prises, in the objects of African exploration. While he was 
teaching at Lancaster, he had been in negotiation with a soci- 
ety in England for devoting himself to that work. But the 
scheme failed ; not, however, from any backwardness of his. 
Among his papers is an inclosure inscribed, " Plan of a Tour 
in Africa, 1816." It contains the following letter, addressed to 
his friend Joseph G. Cogswell, before its date a Tutor, and 
afterwards Librarian and Professor in Harvard College, as also 
Librarian of the Astor Library, New York : — 

Cambridge, 1816. 

Dear Sir, — My plan is, under the auspices of the African Society, 
to go into Africa at Tetuan, or Mogadore, to spend some little time in 
Morocco, and to start with a caravan at Taffilet or some other place, 
to cross the great desert to Tombucto ; to remain a year in Tom- 
bucto, if this is the great city ; to learn as much as possible of its 
manners, customs, political institutions, &c, and also of the trade which 
is carried on with it, from various parts, and such other information as 
can be obtained from the respective countries. This will not be diffi- 
cult, as these traders will generally understand Arabic. 

From Tombucto to go down the river Niger to its mouth, wherever 
it may be, and which is probably a large lake in the interior. To call 


at Boussa by the way. After leaving the Niger, to proceed, if possi- 
ble, to the Cape of Good Hope, otherwise to Abyssinia, or through 
Darfur to Egypt, or through Yezzar to the Mediterranean, or to 
Benin, or Loango, or Congo, or to the South-eastern Coast of Africa, or 
to any place, in fact, which may be thought expedient and practicable. 
To ascertain as many points in Geography, and gain as much 
knowledge of natural history as possible. Jared Sparks. 

Returning thus to the ever-attractive scenes and fellowships 
of the college, at the age of twenty-eight, while performing his 
academic work Mr. Sparks continued with special devotion his 
theological studies. He entered upon his public, professional, 
and literary career, at a very critical and interesting period in 
the development of that local culture, and that aiming for a 
higher standard in learning and a broader field for scholarly 
accomplishment, which marked the very date of his tutorship. 
The country had previously had very little of what we now 
call scholarship or elaborate literature. There had been, from 
its settlement, a few very splendid exceptions, in the cases of a 
short list of philosophers, divines, historical students, and 
classical scholars, to a general demand and supply of a very 
moderate and ordinary intellectual culture. There was then 
a lack, through the whole country, both of public and of private 
libraries. In a few of those collections which have since been 
gathered, are found, in more or less fragmentary and incom- 
plete shapes, a series of bound pamphlets, dating from near 
the close of the last century, the tentative, and, for the most 
part, abortive, beginnings of what we call our periodical litera- 
ture. Very many of these, too, like the twelve volumes of 
" The Analectic Magazine," which appeared as a monthly, from 
1813 to 1818, and marked an advanced stage of demand and 
supply, were very largely made up of selections from foreign 
reviews and magazines. The hope and promise with which 
each successive enterprise had been entered upon, soon resulted 
in failure, and the very moderate success attained by the most 
popular of them proved equally the need of a more extended 


literary appetite and of a more skilfully trained company of 
scholars and writers to stimulate, while they supplied it. A 
little circle of highly cultivated and zealous scholars in Boston 
and Cambridge had formed the Anthology Club, and had issued, 
almost at their own charges, several volumes of " The Anthol- 
ogy," containing papers worthy of being read, for their scholar- 
ship, taste, and critical skill, at the present day. If the genial 
spirits engaged in such a brotherly intimacy as tradition and 
record report to us characterized the relations of that club, 
could catch from hitherwards a glimpse of all that came from 
their ftoings, doubtless that noble and richly endowed institu- 
tion, "The Boston Athenaeum," which was founded by the 
Anthologists, would stand to them as a consummation of their 
hope. " The North- American Review" was substantially a 
revival of the "Anthology," receiving as it did, in its early 
pages and in its editorial oversight, the same gratuitous service 
from some who had wrought for its predecessor. Mr. Sparks, 
who was afterwards to be its proprietor and editor for six years, 
and to give it a repute on which it lived during intervals of 
languishing in other hands, was its temporary editor from 
May, 1817, to March, 1818. It then appeared six times in a 

In another and a far more important and serious matter, 
marking the opening of his professional career, Mr. Sparks 
came upon a critical period, was drawn into a very peculiar 
fellowship, and did the work of a most earnest and effective 
servant. We are now to follow him to his entrance upon the 
Christian ministry at Baltimore. In a church record-book 
begun by him in that city, I have found very interesting and 
characteristic particulars of the nature, method, and fruits of 

* Mr. Sparks wrote in the " Review," for 1817, in Vol. IV., the article on the 
" Augustan Age of Italian Literature " ; in Vol. V., the articles on the " Conflagration of 
Havre de Grace," on the " Narrative of Robert Adams," on " Travels in Africa," and on 
" Riley's Narrative " ; for 1818, in Vol. VI., the article on " Wirt's Life of Patrick 
Henry " ; also various Literary and Miscellaneous Notices in these volumes. In 1821, 
Vol. XIII., he wrote an article on the "Appropriation of Public Lands for Schools." 


that short but laborious period of his life, during which he was 
preacher and pastor, controversialist, and, something much 
better, in the service of religious truth. Before that record 
was opened, Mr. Sparks may claim of his memorialist a brief 
reference to the time, the circumstances, and the associates that 
gave a distinct, though, perhaps, it should be added, but a tem- 
porary and transient, character or quality to the beginning and 
the tenor of his work in the ministry. 

Mr. Sparks, while at Cambridge and in its neighborhood, 
belonged to quite a considerable group or fellowship of young 
men of the highest intellectual and scholarly qualities, and with 
the noblest impulses caught from a new element of religious 
influence then working with great intensity in this immediate 
community. They were devoting themselves to the studies 
of the sacred profession, with new helps of classical culture, 
and the quickening inspiration of a serious modification of the 
prevailing Christian creed. There was then a fashion — it would 
be more true to say a passion — among the young men of genius, 
ambition, and high aims, who had been drawn into intimate 
friendship in the college, to prepare themselves for the minis- 
try. The zeal of the gifted Buckminster in promoting a new 
interest in Biblical studies, and in classical scholarship as help- 
ful thereto, and the establishment of Mr. Dexter's Lectureship 
foundation in the college for fostering Scripture criticism, so 
ably filled by Prof. Norton, were promptings whose inspiration 
was felt even by many of the most cultivated laymen of the 
period. Buckminster, Channing, and others had introduced 
also a new style and method of sermonizing. Pulpit services 
in the neighborhood had become vitalized. The lethargic and 
unresponsive state of feeling under which the ministrations of 
the clergy had for half a century been received, had yielded to 
a state of high-raised interest, often amounting to enthusiasm. 
Those who soon, as a class, came to be designated as preachers 
of Unitarianism, or liberal views of the religion of Jesus Christ, 
were in general disposed, without provoking controversy, to 


take for granted a modification of the belief and convictions of 
the community, and to adapt their ministrations to a re-adjusted 
creed. But they were soon made aware that this quiet pro- 
ceeding of theirs would appear to some not in sympathy with 
them as disingenuous and treacherous. They had therefore to 
furnish themselves for the needful work of vindicating their 
own sincerity, for expounding and maintaining their own 
opinions, and for certifying, if they could do so, their loyalty 
and consistency as Protestant Christians. More than sufficient 
has been written about the imbittered controversial results of 
this period, and under this aspect it does not invite us. But, 
apart from its controversial elements, that period in our local 
development will have much literary and biographical interest 
whenever those who have given to it an historic distinctness are 
themselves the subjects of a friendly memorial. It would be 
an engaging and profitable digression, if this were the fit place 
for it, to enter into some details suggested by the general 
statement just made. That, however, must be left to be done, 
if it ever be done, by the only competent and the affectionate 
depositaries of .what remains of living memory, with the few 
survivors of a choice circle, helped by the drawing forth from 
private cabinets of the abundant and confidential correspond- 
ence of its members. Those friends have been widely parted, 
both in life and in death ; but those who are gone were never 
alienated while they lived; the bond of intellectual and reli- 
gious sympathy between them was never severed, nor did a 
single one of those friends ever part with that distinctive 
belief, so far as it was distinctive, which they had once adopted, 
as scholars and as Christians. That company embraced Everett, 
the Eliots, Norton, Sparks, Palfrey, Gilman, the Wares, Ban- 
croft, and many whose names have not since been so publicly 
famed and honored as theirs. All of them pursued a course of 
theological study under aims and methods which then had nov- 
elty as well as definiteness of purpose. Some of them filled the 
pulpit and pastoral relations in positions of the highest distinc- 


tion, so eminently, too, as to set a standard not maintained 
or reached by the majority of those who have followed them. 
Those of them who stopped short of actual consecration, by 
form and vow, to the sacred office, and turned aside to other 
pursuits, kept the spirit and the sympathy of their early purpose, 
and have done work perhaps of a less professional and a more 
diffusive good than has been effected by the pulpit in these later 
years. But many of that circle, including those who still live, 
as well as those who have gone, did sooner or later turn aside 
from their first professional purpose or work. Without aban- 
doning the scholar's field or zeal, or falling short of the eleva- 
tion or sanctity associated with the ministerial profession, they 
left the pulpit to act upon their age in other walks of lettered 
or political life, and to perform conspicuous services. 

Why that special class of distinguished and ambitious 
scholars, just at that time, were thus attracted to, and then 
withdrawn from, the clerical profession, would furnish an 
interesting question, especially to a literary and religious 
brotherhood in this immediate neighborhood. But while a 
common influence irom the atmosphere of the place where 
they were studying, and a critical period in the development of 
opinion, and a peculiar quality in their friendship and style of 
intercourse, might readily be made to account for their sympa- 
thetic interest in adopting the same occupation, a large variety 
of circumstances and influences, personal and particular, would 
need to be recognized as leading them one by one, and most of 
them at last, into what are called secular callings. This special 
matter, certainly to those for whom it has interest at all, would 
be the more inviting because of the local and temporary char- 
acter of the agencies then working, and of the effects or results 
reached by them. What service they rendered, at least tem- 
porarily, to their first chosen object in life, may be measured 
by the literary and critical work they performed, and by the 
aims which guided them in the other fields to which they were 
attracted or in which they labored. The history of that group 


of Christian students, drawn together and then scattered, is al- 
most, if not absolutely, unique in its substance and interest. 
There has been no continuation, no reproduction, as yet, of the 
same phenomena in their own or in any other religious fellow- 
ship among us. The fields in which useful and profitable appli- 
cations of high talent and noble. purposes have found expansion 
in the last half-century, and the changed conditions of the 
Christian ministry, will account, at least partially, for the fact 
just recognized. 

A memorial of Mr. Sparks which did not allow some such 
reference as has thus been made to the aims and the com- 
panionship which influenced his first choice of a profession, 
would fail in the direction of a fair appreciation, not only of a 
period and a state of feeling in the course of his life which was 
of itself marked with a profoundly devout and serious earnest- 
ness of purpose, but also of the convictions which he held 
through the remainder of his career. Without entering into 
details, which would be out of place here, it may be said, in 
general, that the enthusiasm and the sober earnestness of that 
group of scholarly friends which included Mr. Sparks, were 
quickened by an ardent and intelligent conviction, that Chris- 
tian studies pursued with a larger freedom, a broader range, 
and a more practical aim, with some new aids from an approved 
apparatus of text-books, would result in modifying the tenets 
of the Christian creed as then traditionally and popularly 
received, though with but a languid assent and an indifferent 
feeling by large classes of the community ; would win minds 
alienated from the existing beliefs, and prompt to new zeal in 
works and objects congenial with the spirit of the Christian 
religion. Of Mr. Sparks's special relation to, and co-operative 
labor in, his religious fellowship, this remark is to be made with 
emphasis, that no man ever engaged in the irritating strife of 
religious controversy with less of the spirit of mere sectarian- 
ism, or more resolutely or successfully held that spirit in check 
by charity, magnanimity, and Christian gentleness. The con- 


viction which he held most ardently and intelligently, and in 
illustration of which he planned a series of publications, was, 
that what stood to him as signified by the term " Liberal 
Christianity," represented in spirit and substance the belief and 
the actual opinions of a line of the most devout and thoroughly 
cultivated Christian men whom incidental circumstances had 
classed in several Christian communions, in which, with vari- 
ous mental reserves and allowed modifications and abatements 
of formulated beliefs they had been content to remain. 

Mr. Sparks never regarded himself as an innovator, and if he 
had to accept the position, which was so positively and often 
with such asperity assigned to him, of a heretic, his own 
scholarly acquisitions enabled him to rectify the definition of 
the term, and to put himself by it into a good companionship. 
He seems to have shrunk, with much diffidence and with 
painful self-distrust, from the duty of the pulpit. In a private 
letter, dated at Cambridge, August 6, 1818, he writes, " I have 
finally determined on a time to preach. My present intention 
is to begin on the first Sunday in September, and to preach in 
Lancaster on the second Sunday. Something may prevent, 
however, and you had better not talk about it." Again, 
writing, Oct. 2, 1818, he says,'" I assure you that preaching is 
a great trial to me. I speak in sober sincerity when I tell you, 
it is one I should hardly go through with again, could I have 
foreseen the anxiety and pain it would cost me. I have begun, 
and have only to press forward ; I will do it as well as I can. 

The sermon which I read before the Association, Mr. H 

has heard, was obscure. The fact is, I was particularly com- 
plimented by the whole mass of ministers for its perspicuity. 
He is much troubled that my manuscripts are not interlined 
and erased as Dr. Kirkland's and Mr. Thacher's were; he 
says they can never be good till they are. This is certainly 
true ; but I am sorry they should give him trouble." 

A pioneer service fell to him which, while it made the severest 
exaction upon his intellectual abilities and resources, at the 



same time demanded of him the utmost prudence in speech 
and demeanor, the restraint of temper, and the exercise of 
every good quality of judgment, heart, and spirit. On the 12th 
of October, 1816, the people of Baltimore had been informed 
by an advertisement that the Rev. Dr. Freeman, minister of 
King's Chapel in Boston, would hold religious service on the 
day following, being Sunday, in a hall in the city which be- 
longed to a private owner. The services were repeated on the 
next Sunday. Mr. Sparks, in measured language, describes, 
in the record above referred to, the intense and bitter feeling 
excited by the undertaking which he was soon after called 
to perfect, and which was initiated by this visit to Balti- 
more of Dr. Freeman. That gentleman was known by those 
to whom he was other than a stranger, as having been 
instituted, in 1783, as rector of the Episcopal Society, the 
oldest in New England, which succeeded to the use of the 
Royal Governor's Chapel in Boston, and as having, with his 
flock, abandoned some of the doctrines of the Church, to em- 
brace Unitarianism, altering the Book of Common Prayer 
to conform therewith. He was thus the pastor of the first 
avowed Unitarian Church in America. Those who listened to 
him in Baltimore were, probably for the most part, in sympa- 
thy with his views. Some of them must have been very earn- 
estly devoted to the cause of which in his preaching he was an 
advocate ; for, under their lead, and in spite of very zealous 
opposition, and very passionate obloquy, a religious society was 
organized on the 10th of February following, and measures 
were taken to erect a very costly and conspicuous church 
edifice, which was completed, to be dedicated by Dr. Freeman, 
October 29, 1818. 

Mr. Sparks records, that, on the 11th of August preceding, 
he had received an invitation to preach, as a candidate for 
settlement over the new society, and had been urged to come 
on with the gentlemen who were to take part in the dedication. 
The duties of his tutorship at the college prevented his compli- 


ance with the latter request, and he says he had not at that 
time begun to preach. It would seem that, had he been so 
disposed, he might have found an entrance into the ministry 
in a much easier position, as pastor of the Hollis-street Society 
in Boston. It is a curious fact that he and Dr. Charming, the 
two men in their fellowship who had probably the most intense 
aversion to disputation, and the least taste for controversy, 
with the lowest estimate of any good that could come from it, 
were set forward by circumstances on the arena of strife as 
chief combatants on their side. Mr. Sparks preached for 
the first time in Baltimore, December 20, 1818, renewing 
his engagement for three Sundays more. While he was 
fulfilling it, he received, January 21, 1819, a unanimous invi- 
tation to the pastorate, which he accepted, continuing to preach 
till February 15, when he started for New England, to make 
arrangements for his ordination. The journey to Boston, now 
made within twenty-four hours, was then an undertaking re- 
quiring, generally, a week, and involving fatigue, with inci- 
dents and opportunities which Mr. Sparks always turned to 
account, if not in any other way, to diligent reading and 
mental exercises. 

It must have been with a profound sense of the responsi- 
bilities which he was assuming, and of the exacting nature of 
the labors through which he was to discharge them, that Mr. 
Sparks shared in the excitements of the day of his ordination, 
May 5, 1819, as pastor of the First Independent Church of 
Baltimore. It was a memorable day in the social and religious 
experience of that city. Dr. Channing went from Boston, and 
Prof. Ware from Cambridge, in company with others known as 
Unitarian ministers, to take part in the exercises. Dr. Chan- 
ning, not at that time so widely known, preached a discourse 
on the occasion, which did more than any other production of 
his pen to extend his repute and to make him for some consid- 
erable time afterwards the object of the most grateful com- 
mendatory fame, and of the severest religious hostility from 


the parties to the controversies of those days. The discourse 
was printed and reprinted, extolled, criticised, misrepresented, 
and subjected to review by able and unsympathetic pens. Its 
earnest but passionless and candid advocacy of opinions and 
convictions radically antagonistic to those of the prevailing 
creed of Christians of every other sect, distinguished it from 
the mass of controversial sermons. It has been affirmed that 
no pamphlet, with the single exception of a political publication, 
had ever up to that time been so extensively circulated, or 
caused so deep a sensation. Its title was, " Unitarian Chris- 
tianity." The occasion of its delivery brought into close asso- 
ciation for curiosity and for notoriety the names of Dr. 
Channing and Mr. Sparks ; the latter just then completing his 
thirtieth year, and being by nine years the junior of the two. 
With the impulse furnished by the zeal, the curiosity, and the 
hostility quickened by the excitements of this occasion, Mr. 
Sparks entered upon a ministry, which, though it was in a few 
years to be brought to a close by the failure of his health, was 
to be an eminently devoted and faithful one, with varied labors 
and many fruits, some of them permanent. Some of his 
brethren who had attended his ordination remained for a 
short time after it, holding week-day and Sunday services. 
On the 19th of May, he performed for the first time all the 
duties of his place. 

A few interesting facts, selected from his record, will help 
us to trace him in his work and experience. Being as yet 
unmarried, he found a most delightful home in the family of 
one of his parishioners, in which he enjoyed a hearty welcome 
and made himself greatly beloved. In the hot weather of the 
summer following, he took a vacation of five weeks, which he 
spent in a tour through Maryland, Western Virginia, Pennsyl- 
vania, and a visit to Bath, Bedford, and York Springs. In 
this, as in other excursions, he made many agreeable and 
interesting friendships with prominent persons, from a wide 
circle of country, and the intercourse was of mutual service to 
the two parties. 


Soon after returning to his work, he records, in very calm 
and chastened language, some exhibitions of the obloquy, oppo- 
sition, and misrepresentation from the churches and ministers 
of the city, of which he and his parishioners and their dis- 
tinguishing opinions were the subjects. The prevalence of 
the yellow fever at Fell's Point led to the appointment. <>K the 
23d of September, 1819, for observance as a Fast Day in the 
city. Mr. Sparks writes that a very fervent preacher in one of 
the pulpits, on that solemnity, ascribed the pestilence to the 
fact that the citizens had allowed "a Synagogue of Satan" to 
be erected among them. The hostility and abuse, however, 
had the familiar effect of increasing and strengthening the 
aforesaid " Synagogue." The Society, during Mr. Sparks's 
ministry, became very flourishing, and included families and 
individuals of the highest standing in the city. 

Mr. Sparks started on the 12th of November, 1819, for 
Charleston, S.C., to attend the ordination of another Unitarian 
minister, his friend Mr. Samuel Gilman. On his way he 
preached on the 19th in the State-House at Raleigh, to a 
crowded assembly, and on his return he officiated in three 
services on a Sunday in the same place, the Governor and his 
family attending. During his absence of seven weeks, on this 
errand, he records that his own pulpit was supplied by Pro- 
fessors Edward Everett and Andrews Norton. Those were 
days of peculiar interest in the history of pulpit ministrations 
among us. If there was an element of " sensationalism" in 
them, the material and the method of it were in harmony with 
seriousness and the consistency of things, and tended to edifica- 
tion. In the summer of 1820, Mr. Sparks made a tour into 
Western Virginia. 

The qualities of his mind, and his own strong impulses in the 
direction in which he was best fitted to render good service to 
the largest number of persons, made Mr. Sparks always eager 
to avail himself of the help of the press, and of the channels 
of literature. Whether it were the newspaper, the tract, the 


magazine, the substantial volume, or a series of volumes ex- 
tended enough to be called a " library," each and all of these 
presented themselves to him as inviting him with opportunities 
of turning his own industry and knowledge to direct account 
in advancing high culture in every department. He himself 
more than once records that after he had proposed to publish 
an essay on some particular subject, he had to read and study 
for his own information simultaneously with his preparation of 
copy for the waiting printer. When a few years afterwards, 
on changing the subjects of his investigations, and to meet his 
oilier literary wants, he offered for sale a selection from his 
library, he had a catalogue of the books printed. That cata- 
logue is in itself a very striking token of the diligence and 
wisdom with which he had gathered the substantial volumes 
named in it. 

On the 19th of November, 1820, he chronicles the organiza- 
tion, at his own prompting, of " The Baltimore Unitarian 
Society for the Distribution of Books," on the inauguration of 
which he delivered a discourse. This society, which received 
a large number of members, and was well furnished with 
funds, was started for the purpose of publishing a small peri- 
odical called '-The Unitarian Miscellany," the first number of 
which was issued January 1, 1821. It began with a monthly 
issue of one thousand copies, which was doubled in six months, 
and at the end of the first year a reprint of the volume was 
required. Mr. Sparks continued to edit this work through the 
third volume in 1823, when he committed it to the care of the 
Eev. F. W. P. Greenwood, who for a season occupied the 
pulpit after Mr. Sparks's resignation. Though this periodical 
made no pretension to elaborateness or exhaustive discussion, 
it was eminently instructive, thorough, and substantial in its 
matter, characterized by sober, judicious, and devout senti- 
ments, and admirably suited for its purpose of helping and 
justifying a modification of accepted beliefs, while at the same 
time carefully guarding against boldness in innovation, or con- 


ceit in speculation. Many of the brief pieces in that periodical 
give proof of much painstaking in their composition, and 
might be profitably kept in present use. The Unitarian 
churches in Washington, Charleston, S.C., and New York 
were instituted during Mr. Sparks's ministry, and he was a 
most efficient auxiliary in assuring their early vigor and 

Under date of the 20th of December, 1821, Mr. Sparks 
wrote as follows: "I was chosen to be Chaplain of the 
House of Representatives of Congress during the presenc 
session. As the election was a sort of contest between the 
Liberal and the Orthodox, there was a strenuous opposition on 
the part of the latter. But the vote was at length carried by 
an honorable majority, although there were five contending can- 
didates. I was proposed by my friends and the friends of the 
Unitarian cause, but not at any instance of my own, nor indeed 
with any desire to fill the. station." He had been elected on 
the 10th of December. 

The Sunday after his election, his society unanimously voted 
him liberty to accept the proffered office, the duties of which 
would require his absence from Baltimore during the session. 
He remained in Washington nearly five months. He alter- 
nated, week by week, with the Chaplain of the Senate, in Sunday 
preaching in the Hall of Representatives, and in daily services 
both in the Senate and in the House. On the Sundays upon 
which he was free from this duty, he preached, in a private room, 
for the Unitarian Society in Washington, which had then no 
church edifice, and whose pastor, Mr. Little, was ill. On the 
day of his arrival at Washington to fulfil his duties, an attempt 
was made, by an opposition member, to have his election re- 
considered, professedly on the ground of his having delayed his 
coming for a week. The delay in his attendance was a 
prompting of his own self-respect. He would not go to Wash- 
ington till he received official notice of his election. This, either 
by inadvertence, or for some reason, was not sent, until a friend 


had reminded Mr. Speaker Barbour of his duty, who attended 
to the matter. Mr. Sparks was on the floor when the ill- 
tempered motion was made. The motion, however, was over- 
ruled even by the votes of some who had resisted his election. 
Mr. Sparks quietly takes note of the intense opposition and the 
acrimonious treatment which he received from the Washington 
clergy in their pulpits. His own pulpit was constantly sup- 
plied, during his absence, by gentlemen from Boston ; but he 
continued to edit his " Miscellany." During his chaplaincy, 
Mr. Sparks was called upon officially to deliver in the Hall of 
Representatives, March 3, 1822, a discourse, afterwards pub- 
lished, on the death of the distinguished Senator, William 

The climate of the region in which he had been living- 
proved very unfavorable for the health of Mr. Sparks, and 
interfered with the steady labor of mind to which he wished to 
devote himself; nor would intervals, of change and relief and 
occasional journeyings remove the increasing feebleness which 
he tried to resist. He felt that he must return to his northern 
home. By an admirable and most affectionate letter to his 
Society, he resigned his pastorate on the 1st of July, 1823. 
With great reluctance on their part, but with most grateful 
and considerate appreciation of him and of his faithful work, 
they parted with him. Thus ended the first professional 
service of Mr. Sparks. He closed at once his relations to the 
pulpit, and then, or soon afterwards, committed his sermons 
to the flames. It was not consistent with his views of the 
ministerial office to continue to serve, even occasionally, as 
a preacher when he no longer held a pastoral relation to 
one particular charge. It does not appear that he had felt 
any disinclination, much less any unfitness in himself, for 
the offices which he had been discharging. The members 
of his society regarded him as one of the most exemplary 
and devoted of ministers, conscientiously scrupulous and 
faithful in his conformity to all the traditionary exactions 


of his office, and as constantly aiming for new and judicious 
measures of his own devising to engage and direct their zeal 
in behalf of all that is good. It is a curious fact, that, while 
those who have succeeded him for longer or shorter periods as 
preachers beneath the dome of the stately temple where he 
first served, have been greatly annoyed by the echoes which 
come back to the pulpit and by the acoustic difficulties en- 
countered by the occupants of many of the pews, he never felt, 
or at least never complained of, any embarrassment from that 
source. He had all the satisfaction which in his isolated 
sphere of labor he could derive from the assurance, that his 
work was highly appreciated by a class of friends and support- 
ers whose demands and standard of expectation could be met 
by no superficial or ephemeral ministrations, but required 
well-digested wisdom consistently taught and illustrated by 
example. His relations to the ministers of other denomina- 
tions in the city — a city, too, in which the Roman-Catholic 
Church had a preponderating influence — were of a sort, at 
the time of his introduction among them, to test his temper 
and spirit. He was eminently comprehensive and catholic in 
his own sympathies. Of what has been said above as to the 
perfect congeniality of his ministerial duties, perhaps a single 
qualification should be made. It was well known to Mr. 
Sparks' s friends that in later years he had a strong repugnance 
for standing before an audience to deliver an address. His 
own words to that effect will by and by be quoted. Probably 
the disinclination, with a consequent shrinking and an embar- 
rassed utterance, increased with him. But those who remem- 
ber him as a preacher, do not associate with him any such 
feeling, or such results as would naturally follow it. The late 
Rev. Dr. Greenwood, one of Mr. Sparks's most intimate asso- 
ciates, on being asked many years after Mr. Sparks's retirement 
from the pulpit, what was his marked characteristic in it, replied, 
" Dignity." 

So far as the peculiarities of his ,own religious system, 



offensive or dangerous as they might be in the opinion of 
others, admitted of a most searching trial by the accepted 
standard authoritative with all Christians, he thought that 
those who differed most widely from him might agree with him 
in the calm and candid search for the truth. He wished to 
hold friendly intercourse even with his bitterest opponents, 
though he reserved all his intellectual strength for dealing 
only with conscientious antagonists, and never engaged in the 
less honorable methods of controversy. Before his work in 
Baltimore was done, he had drawn to him personal friends 
among leading circles in every religious communion, and was 
honored, by all classes, as a citizen, a scholar, and a public 
teacher. The valedictory letter from his Society, written and 
signed by Theodoric Bland, late Chancellor of the State of 
Maryland, has in it an earnestness and directness of address 
which certify its sincerity. 

Through the remainder of his life Mr. Sparks loved to renew 
his pleasant associations with Baltimore by frequent visits. 
New friends were added to the old circle, and his welcome was 
warm and constant. He retained witli special sympathy his 
interest in the fortunes of his former parish, which he mani- 
fested by keeping up a close intimacy with his immediate suc- 
cessor in the pastorate, and by inquiries continued to the 
close of his life as to the prosperity of the Society. His own 
personal gravity, and the dignity of the pursuits to which he 
devoted the whole of his after-life, — more than half of all his 
years, — gave to* his speech, demeanor, and style of writing the 
characteristics of a cheerful seriousness. « 

There are works which belong to the period of Mr. Sparks's 
ministry, and which are in keeping with the course of study 
and the professional duties of his office, that must how be 
noticed. The first of these is a volume of six Letters, addressed 
to the Rev. W. E. Wyatt, D.D., an Episcopal clergyman of 
Baltimore, " On the Ministry, Ritual, and Doctrines of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church." These letters, first published 


in 1820, and reprinted in Boston in 1844, were designed to 
controvert and answer statements advanced, by the gentleman 
to whom they were addressed, in a sermon that had been 
preached and published by him. They are moderate and cour- 
teous in their tone ; but so deliberately considered in the matter 
of their positions and arguments, that their writer felt no 
necessity or occasion for retracting or modifying any thing in 
them when he sent them forth in a new edition, after the lapse 
of a quarter of a century. Mr. Sparks aims with candor and 
in a spirit which loves and is content with the simple truth, to 
disprove the asserted divine right and the alleged scriptural 
authority of the distinctive tenets and principles of Episcopacy. 
He insists that its special theory and ecclesiastical institution, 
its discipline and form of worship, shall not be identified with 
the vital essence and the practical truths of pure Christianity. 
Of course the book lacks the elaborate and exhaustive character 
of very many of the publications which have dealt with that 
unfinished controversy. But the simplicity, directness, and 
argumentative force with which it deals with matters that are 
only more perplexed by more learning and pleading, give the 
author's good stamp to his work. 

After due preparation and announcement by a Prospectus, 
Mr. Sparks began, January 1, 1823, the publication of a " Col- 
lection of Essays and Tracts in Theology." He purposed a 
series of quarterly issues which would make two volumes each 
year. It was continued through twelve numbers, concluding 
in March, 1826. The motive, aim, and method of that design 
of the author are in striking harmony with what has already 
been presented as characteristic of the school of theology— if it 
may be called such — to which he and his distinguished college 
friends belonged. In his grateful dedication of the " Collec- 
tion," to his revered benefactor, President Kirkland, he de- 
scribes the contents as " designed to promote the cause of 
sacred learning, of truth and charity, of religious freedom and 
rational piety." There is condensed wisdom in these sen- 


tences from his preface : "In the science of theology, which 
runs so far into the deep and uncertain things of metaphys- 
ics, and which allows so wide a range for the imagination, it 
is no wonder that much should be written which is neither 
calculated 'to instruct the plain inquirer, nor edify the 
practical Christian." But he adds, " Among the numerous 
works on theological subjects, a few may be found which have 
an intrinsic value distinct from the speculative opinions con- 
tained in them, and from the dogmas which it may be their 
primary or subordinate object to inculcate. . . . Wise and en- 
lightened men, however they may differ on points of specula- 
tion, will think nearly alike on all that is fundamental or 
important in religion, when they submit to be guided by their 
understanding." Mr. Sparks approves the saying of Paley, 
that, " whatever makes religion more rational, makes it more 
credible " ; and also the saying of Young, that, " when faith 
is virtue, reason makes it so." 

It was, therefore, Mr. Sparks's design — carried out with 
fidelity and success in this publication — to collect from the 
immense fields of theological literature, independently of sec- 
tarian and denominational bounds, the utterances of piety and 
wisdom, consecrated by Christian faith, which expressed the 
religious harmony of men whose agreements were more than 
their variances. No better service in the cause of religious 
literature could be performed by the press, even at this day, 
than the reproduction of those six small volumes, which con- 
tain pieces from the pens of the following esteemed writers ; 
namely, Turretin, Abauzit, Archdeacon Blackburne, Bp. Hoadly, 
Dr. Whitby, Bp. Hare, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Butler, 
Kobert Robinson, Thomas Cogan, William Penn, Dr. Sykes, 
Dr. Benson, Thomas Emlyn, Mrs. Barbauld, "The ever- 
memorable John Hales," James Foster, Bp. Jeremy Taylor, 
John Locke, Robert Clayton, Dr. Watts, and Le Clerc. 

A substantial octavo volume, published by Mr. Sparks in 
Boston, in 1823, bears the following title : " An Inquiry into 


the Comparative Moral Tendency of Trinitarian and Unitarian 
Doctrines, in a Series of Letters to the Rev. Dr. Miller, of 
Princeton." A portion of the contents of this volume is a 
reproduction, with alterations and additions, of letters that 
had been before published in the " Unitarian Miscellany," drawn 
forth from Mr. Sparks by a sharper aspersion, among the many 
assaults made from the pulpits in Baltimore, upon his religious 
fellowship. Dr. Miller, in an ordination sermon preached by 
him in that city, had allowed himself to utter some very severe 
strictures of a 4 moral character against Unitarians. When 
challenged for his words, by a letter from Mr. Sparks, he 
changed his ground to a harsh representation of what he 
thought would be the tendency of Unitarian opinions. Mr. 
Sparks followed him in this new direction, and covered quite a 
wide field, largely extended in the additional letters comprised 
in his volume of historical, biographical, and speculative 
matter, bearing upon the theme suggested by his title. The 
controversy, which had opened with sharp tones, was pursued 
within the restraints of decorum, and acquired rather an ami- 
cable spirit before it closed. The two disputants learned to 
respect each other's character and purposes. When, after- 
wards, Mr. Sparks was editing the " Library of American 
Biography," he committed the " Life of Jonathan Edwards" to 
the hands of Dr. Miller, and allowed him a free opportunity 
to present and advocate views in harmony with his own opin- 

Before he had closed his professional relations at l&tltimore, 
he had been in correspondence about the " North- American 
Eeview," looking to arrangements which finally resulted in his 
purchase of it as a piece of property, and in his re-assuming its 
editorship. The " Review " was owned in shares by a few 
proprietors, among whom was the late Hon. Edward Everett, 
who was also its editor. In the very interesting, frank, but 
not unfriendly, letters by the parties to that correspondence, it 
appears that Mr. Everett, affirming that the value of the 


" Review " had been greatly enhanced under his editorship, 
advanced a claim to a right of purchasing it at a valuation 
below what the other proprietors regarded as just. At one 
stage of the negotiations it seemed as if he purposed to trust 
to his own resources, and establish a rival " Review " ; in 
which case the other proprietors wished Mr. Sparks to assume 
the conduct of another, to be published in Philadelphia.* 
The matter, however, was amicably disposed of to the satis- 
faction of all the interested parties. Mr. Sparks, on taking 
up his residence in Boston, purchased the shares of all the 
other proprietors, and began again the editorship of it with the 
year 1824. As a matter of information to readers curious 
about the value of literary property from time to time among 
us, it may be noted that Mr. Sparks sets the cost of the 
" Review " to himself, including his own share in it, at a trifle 
short of eleven thousand dollars. For the larger portion of 
this sum he was, of course, obliged to assume an indebtedness. 
He continued in charge of it till, in March, 1830, he sold the 
proprietorship for nearly double its cost to himself, and trans- 
ferred the editorship to the late Hon. A. H. Everett. During 
this interval Mr. Sparks was frequently absent on long and 
distant journeys, collecting historical materials, and making 
elaborate researches, while he also made his first visit to 
Europe, and was industriously engaged upon many other 
works. While absent on that visit, he wrote nothing for the 
" Review" ; but left it in the charge of his friend, Dr. J. G. Pal- 
frey, who^ also succeeded Mr. A. H. Everett as editor. The 
matter contributed by Mr. Sparks, in the form of elaborate -arti- 
cles and miscellaneous and critical notices, covers a very large 
variety of*subjects. He felt the responsibility of his editorial 
position, and used it as a means for conscientious and wise 
effort to elevate the standard of literary taste and good scholar- 
ship in this country ; and his efforts were very effective to those 

* "I declined to become an opposition editor. I do not love feuds." — Journal 


ends. In his journal he states the principles on which he 
aimed to conduct it, and the rules which guided him in his 
editorial supervision of papers sent to him by contributors. 
In looking over his papers in manuscript, and running through 
the contents of the " Review " during his sole management of 
it, it appears that more than one-third of those contents were 
from his own pen. His correspondence, too, was extensive 
with gentlemen in various parts of the globe, of whom he asked 
contributions on specified subjects. The Colonization Society 
engaged his particular interest, and he followed it from its 
origin, and traced its operations by frequent references to it. 
The articles which deal more or less directly with American 
History, in its materials, its subjects, or the attempts which 
were made to elucidate or to illustrate it, increase in number 
and in length in the latter portion of his editorship, and from 
them might be gleaned the contents of a very interesting 
volume. In 1843, he wrote for the fifty-sixth volume of the 
" Review " the very instructive article on "The Treaty of 
Washington" ; being that negotiated by Mr. Webster and Lord 
Ashburton, concerning the North-eastern boundary. 

On leaving Baltimore, in an ill state of health, in the sum- 
mer of 1823, Mr. Sparks journeyed in Pennsylvania and West- 
ern New York, visiting places of interest, making inquiries, 
and gathering information which, carefully recorded in his 
diary, he was enabled afterwards to turn to account in his 
various historical and biographical works. In his frequent 
subsequent journeys, as in this, it is interesting to note, from 
his carefully arranged papers and diaries, with what zeal he ob- 
tained, and with what discretion and prudence he used, facts of 
an historical or personal character, revealed to him often confi- 
dentially, bearing upon the reputation Qf distinguished per- 
sons, and disclosing secrets which might engender strifes, if 
allowed to appear in print. He showed an admirable judg- 
ment in many a critical matter, which he was afterwards bound 
to notice or to deal with, in candidly recognizing, or in wisely 


suppressing, what had come to his knowledge through the 
confidence which was reposed in him. At a late period in his 
life he went over these papers with conscientious care, for 
the purpose of obliterating or rendering illegible names and 
particulars which others might not use as discreetly as he 
had done. 

Reaching Boston, near the end of August, he took lodg- 
ings, but spent his time for a few weeks in pleasant visits to 
a circle of friends at Nahant and elsewhere. In September 
he went to Baltimore, packed up his books, took leave of his 
friends, with hearty regrets on both sides, and, intending hence- 
forth to make his home in Boston, provided himself with 
apartments suited for a bachelor scholar, in Somerset Street. 
Books and other literary materials were accumulating in his 
hands, and he was already in possession of a large number of 
valuable autograph letters of public men. It must have been 
with something of scholarly regret, and with a sensitive re- 
minder that he was parting, though without alienation, from 
pursuits which he had loved, that he prepared a catalogue of 
" Theological and Miscellaneous Books to be sold at public 
auction, in Boston, May 28, 1824, at the office of the ' North- 
American Review.' " In looking over this printed pamphlet, 
one can hardly avoid the expression of surprise at its con- 
tents, and a wondering question how the owner, with his slender 
emoluments, had come into possession of them. They are 
mainly theological works, solid, well selected, and then, for 
the most part, rare, not only in private, but in our public 
libraries. They are in English, Latin, French, and German, 
comprising three hundred and fifty-three titles or parcels, 
and embracing nearly twice as many volumes. The list of 
titles is itself a most significant witness to his assiduity in 
collecting and in examining works, for the mere gathering 
of which he must have enlisted the kindly aid of friends 
visiting Europe, and have spent all that he could spare from 
a small salary after he had met the charges of a frugal 


mode of life.* And he parted with these erudite folios 
and octavos, only to get the means of purchasing more. I 
have it in my power to divulge the amount of proceeds from 
the sale, but will withhold it, lest the avowal might be used 
reproachfully of the " American Athens " of that date, or as a 
token of the slight estimate of theological literature in the 
once Puritan city. All through his life it was Mr. Sparks's 
wish and purpose to own every book of which he would have 
occasion to make much use. The preparation of the Bio- 
graphical Sketches with which the selections in th.e series of 
Theological Essays are introduced, required a considerable 
degree of study and scholarly skill. They give an additional 
value to the volumes containing those Tracts, and drew upon 
his well-filled time till the close of the series, as before noted, 
in March, 1826. In 1824, Mr. Sparks, with the help of in- 
structors, — one of whom was the late beloved college preceptor, 
Francis Sales, that urbane and genial gentleman, Washing- 
tonian in his look and bearing, — devoted himself assiduously 
to the study of the Spanish language, going more thoroughly 
into it for the purpose of attaining a knowledge of South 
American affairs. f In the same year he drew up, by request, 
a very elaborate plan for a theological school at Cambridge, 
one essential feature of which was that it should be independent 
of the college in its relations and in its management. 

It was, doubtless, Mr. Sparks's proximity to Washington, his 
visits and temporary residence there, 'and the acquaintance 
which he there formed with public men, whose respect and 
confidence, independent of party relations, he always won and 
held, that decided the direction of his future pursuits. Presi- 
dent John Q. Adams, Chief- Justice Marshall, Judge Bushrod 

* In a letter to Rev. Robert Aspland, London, Mr. Sparks wrote, Dec. 23, 1819, 
■ I wish to procure every work of merit which has been written by the earlier English 
Unitarians." He gives " directions [for a bookseller] to select all the Unitarian tracts 
and single sermons which have sufficient merit to recommend them." 

t " Propose writing several articles on South America, for the ' North American.' " — 
Journal of J. S. 



Washington, Henry Clay, and other leading men were at once 
numbered among his foremost friends, ready to advance his 
honorable and patriotic plans. He had before him a most rich 
field of historic labor, in which there had been no efficient 
workers, and but a very few even superficial loiterers. His 
own tastes and acquirements fitted him to appreciate the wealth 
of that field, and his mental constitution and habits admirably 
adapted him for the pioneer work of surveying it and opening 
it for all who might follow him. The time also was especially 
opportune for such plans as he entertained. Many of the 
most important events in our national history had then begun 
to have the interest of things just fading from the memories of 
the elder generation, and sure to engage the inquisitive spirit 
of those coming upon the stage. Valuable and important 
papers, too, were to be rescued and preserved then, or never 
afterwards. Mr. Sparks felt the demand of the subject, the 
occasion, and the time, as an obligation laid upon cultivated 
men to divide a great work among them, and to devote to it 
themselves and their resources. Of that work it wrongs no 
other of our many devoted and successful historical laborers to 
say, that he accomplished the most, and furnished new incite- 
ment and valuable helps and guides for all contemporary and 
subsequent scholars engaged in the same pursuits. His indus- 
try, his methods, his candor, conscientiousness, moderation, 
pure taste, and good judgment make him an example which 
may be wisely and safely followed, and on which it is not easy, 
in any essential matter, to improve. 

It is remarkable, however, that in all which Mr. Sparks 
accomplished, he was performing work which he regarded 
simply as incidental to an object he had in view from the first, 
and never lost sight of, never abandoned, and yet never per- 
fected. Never abandoned, I have allowed myself to say, and 
I hardly need to admit that the assertion is qualified when the 
fact is stated, that an accident ten years before his death 
having impaired the free use of his right arm, and yielding to 


his strong disinclination to employ an amanuensis, Mr. Sparks 
suffered from the continual delays of his hope of completing 
his intended work.* 

His purpose was to write the history of America. All his 
historical and biographical works, undertaken and accomplished, 
came up incidentally in the way which he was surveying or 
traversing in his course toward that object. In his journal of 
August 18, 1823, is found this record: " Meditating on the im- 
portance of having a new History of America. Thought that 
I might undertake it some time or other. I would go to the 
fountain and read every thing on the subject." Again, under 
date of February 15, 1825, he defines for himself these two 
subjects : " A History of the Governments and Religion of the 
North- American Indians," and a " History of Republican In- 
stitutions in North America." His diary for April 23, 1824, 
while he was on a visit to Philadelphia, makes the first men- 
tion of the fact that he was specially interested in collecting 
original letters and other papers relating to General Washing- 
ton, though he writes that the subject had long been in his 
mind. In 1826, he made an extensive Southern tour, of which 
there is a full and very interesting journal, recording facts, 
observations, and researches, all preparing him for the work 
he was soon to accomplish. By personal examination he 
made himself acquainted with the public papers in the archives 
of the thirteen original States and at Washington, and he 
visited and sought information of men able to direct his further 
investigations, to furnish him with historical material, and to 
fill up gaps in his own knowledge of persons and events. 

At the right time Mr. Sparks enlisted the friendly co- 
operation of Mr. Justice Story, in an application made by him 
to Judge Bushrod Washington, nephew of the General, and 
then the possessor of Mount Vernon, and of all the private 

* While pursuing his researches in London, in a letter addressed to the English 
under-Secretary of State, in December, 1840, he says, " I have now in hand a History 
of the United States, from the peace of 1763, to the adoption of the Constitution." 


papers which his uncle had given to him by his will. These 
precious papers, which, after Mr. Sparks's use of them, were 
purchased by Congress, and are now in the national archives, 
were then in the condition in which the President had left 
them at his own mansion, and had been but partially examined 
by Chief-Justice Marshall, when he wrote his Life of Washing- 
ton. Mr. Sparks sought of their inheritor, through Judge 
Story, the privilege of examining them for the purposes of 
selection and publication. The application was at first unsuc- 
cessful,* but being renewed, with favoring solicitations, was 
yielded to, and Judge Washington soon became an ardent 
coadjutor in the intended object. Mr. Sparks had already in 
his possession many letters of Washington, collected from 
various quarters, and had had them carefully copied, in Boston, 
in 1826. But he had now secured the privilege, which was so 
essential to him, of going to the fountain-head. His contract 
with Judge Washington was signed January 18, 1827. Judge 
Marshall, on whose sympathy and encouragement he had 
largely depended, was asked by Mr. Sparks, as recorded in his 
journal, with a beautiful mixture of manly frankness and 
deferential courtesy, whether he would allow the privilege of 
the use of his name and patronage for the projected under- 
taking. Most cordially did he assent. Thus happily furthered, 
while Judge Washington and his wife were on a visit to Phila- 
delphia, Mr. Sparks was received as a privileged guest at Mount 
Vernon, in portions of March and May, and the whole of 
April, with due arrangements for his comfort, exercise, and 
undisturbed leisure, that he might examine and acquaint him- 
self with the precious papers that were to occupy him for the 
ten years following. The results of his examination he com- 
municated in the form of two letters to Judge Story, the first 

* It would seem that Mr. Sparks would not have yielded his purpose with regard to 
his great subject, even if the Mt. Vernon Papers had been withheld from him. He 
wrote to Edward Everett, March 14, 1826, "I consider such a privilege no favor to me; 
I ask it only as the means of doing greater justice to the subject. He who brings them 
out does a public service." 


of which was published in the "Intelligencer," at Washington, 
May 19, 1827, and both of which were issued in a pamphlet, 
as a prospectus, to be used by agents with whom he at .once 
made contracts for procuring subscribers in various parts of the 
country. These two letters would be sufficient of themselves to 
prove the especial fitness of the writer for the task he had under- 
taken, and to assure its performance in a manner best suited 
to meet -the demands of the subject, and to adapt the intended 
publication to such a circulation as could be expected for it. 
Mr. Sparks found the papers he was examining disposed in 
more than two hundred folio volumes and bundles. Of these, 
more than sixty were filled with Washington's own letters in 
autograph, of which there were also'others on file. The papers 
had been in large part arranged, and many of them copied, 
classified, and indexed, under Washington's own supervision. 
In his communications to Judge Story, Mr. Sparks gives a lucid 
and admirable description of these papers, and sets forth the 
outlines of his plan for publication, by a principle of selection. 
His comments on the collection as a whole, with his cursory 
criticisms, and his commendatory interjections drawn forth 
by his growing estimate and admiration of the character of 
Washington, give a peculiar charm to what were intended for 
mere business documents. The writer, rising early for a long 
ride daily on horseback, that he might bend with vigor to his 
in-door work ; lifting his eyes occasionally, to catch glimpses 
from that beautiful elevation of river, lawn, and hill-side, under 
the sweet touch of spring-time; with his hands engaged upon 
the most private memorials of the almost sainted patriot whose 
mortal dust was reposing near, — might well feel a spell upon 
his spirit, consecrating his loved task as lie entered upon it. 
He expresses frankly the embarrassment which he might well 
realize, when he undertook to define to himself a principle of 
selection and classification. On the one side, he had to conform 
himself to the conditions set for him, by having regard to the 
number of volumes to which the world would give room, which 


the people would purchase and have time to read. On the 
other side he must be faithful to the character, the repute, and 
claims, the mind, the work, and services, of his great subject. 
He must allow himself sufficient fulness of treatment to avert 
the necessity of mutilating or omitting any thing essential to a 
complete presentment of that subject. After proper delibera- 
tion, he announced it to be his " great object to publish such a 
collection of Washington's writings as will hold a permanent 
place in the historical literature of the country, and transmit 
to posterity, in one body, the best memorials of his character 
and actions, and the best fruits of his mind that were recorded 
by himself." He recognizes as the constant guides for his 
own responsibility, " scrupulous care and persevering dili- 
gence." It was matter of great sadness to Mr. Sparks that 
both Judge Washington and Chief-Justice Marshall, whose 
interest and confidence grew with the progress of the work, 
should have died before its entire publication. It was pro- 
vided for in the terms on which Mr. Sparks was intrusted with 
these precious papers, that the originals should never be ex- 
posed to the risks of a printing-office, and that all possible 
precautions should be taken to guard them from damage by 
fire. It required skill and care to pack them, and secure their 
transportation to Boston. It was only after the inheritor of 
the papers had assured himself, by his intercourse with Mr. 
Sparks, that he might be trusted as their most jealous guar- 
dian, that he would consent to their removal from Mount 
Vernon. Indeed, it was at first stipulated that they should 
not be removed. While, subsequently, they were in Mr. 
Sparks's charge, he was subject to the constant importunities 
of autograph collectors, a few of whom he was enabled at the 
close of his work to gratify, as the son of Judge Washington 
kindly left some of the papers in his possession. Judge Mar- 
shall was with Judge Washington, a party to the contract, 
which was a very simple one. After Mr. Sparks had been 
remunerated for expenses he might incur in procuring any 


additional materials, he was to receive half the profits of the 
published work. 

The decision which he deliberately adopted as to the plan, the 
compass, and the extent of the intended work now in his hands, 
having regard to the conditions already intimated, was to issue 
eleven octavo volumes devoted to the Writings of Washington, 
with the necessary illustrative matter in notes and appendices, 
and one more volume containing a new Life of Washington. 
Ten years of assiduous toil, attended often with perplexities, 
were spent upon the work, before its results came into the 
hands of the public. These years, whose labors of investiga- 
tion and composition in the student's private apartments were 
broken by many journeys in his own country, by researches 
conducted abroad, by frequent changes of residence, and by 
incidents of domestic interest, may be regarded as essentially 
spent upon his great subject. For though Mr. Sparks did 
publish several works during the interval, and plan and make 
progress in others which followed, he was in fact led to under- 
take them by the incidental relations which they had with his 
main theme ; and the necessary investigations which they re- 
quired were directly helpful to thoroughness in dealing with 
that. With what sound discretion he recognized the rules by 
which he was to be guided, and with what caution, good sense, 
and wise forethought he defined the principles of selection, the 
responsibilities of editorship, and the requisitions peculiar to 
his work, he was to have an occasion afterwards to ask a second 
judgment from the public, more deliberate than that pronounced 
on the first publication of his volumes. When, fifteen years 
afterwards, one titled historian and several private pam- 
phleteers and newspaper critics joined in casting grave imputa- 
tions upon his editorial judgment and fidelity, Mr. Sparks 
found an easy and triumphant vindication of himself in calmly 
referring his assailants to his own prefatory announcements, 
by which he had forestalled and neutralized the supposed 
grounds and materials of their charges. But of this more, 
by and by. 


Aided by the pens, in their leisure hours, of a few college 
students, whose straitened means it was a pleasure to Mr. 
Sparks to be able to replenish by the reward of clerical labor, 
such of the papers brought from Mount Vernon as were se- 
lected for publication were copied for the press.* He himself 
was most industriously seeking collateral matter for his notes 
and appendices, explanations and illustrations of the text, in 
the papers of Congress and other public bodies, in the letters 
of Washington's correspondents, and in all the sources of 
information to be found in State archives and in private cabi- 
nets. A vast deal of patient inquiry and of skilful comparison 
and of personal examination was needed in the gathering to- 
gether and the making a wise use of maps, charts, plans 
of fortifications, and delineations of battle-fields. These were 
to be sought for from both parties in the War of the Revolu- 
tion. Yery many intricate questions and controverted issues, 
as well as some delicate points touching the reputation of 
prominent actors in the strife, depended upon these field- 
plans, upon their accuracy, and upon the positions assigned in 
them to parties of the combatants. Mr. Sparks held himself 
bound to visit and view these localities, and with the sketches 
and drafts of others in his hands, and a discreet ear given to 
local traditions and to the stories of eye-witnesses and actors, 
to try to put posterity in possession of the means, on the care- 
fully engraved sheet, of following the campaigns of Washington 
over scenes that were to be transformed by prosperity, culture, 
and the busy enterprises of an expanding nation. 

This work, in all its details and exactions on our soil and 
from our own repositories, done or provided for, Mr. Sparks 
prepared for a visit to Europe. There was hardly an impor- 
tant paper in his hands, beginning with those which referred to 

* The Washington Papers, except those in the Letter Books, had come to Mr. 
Sparks's hands in loose bundles. They were chronologically arranged for him by the 
late Kev. Dr. Harris, of Dorchester, who also made an index to the whole collection, 
forming a large folio volume, now in the Department of State at Washington. 


the family history of Washington and his services in the 
French War, and running down to the diplomatic and treaty 
relations of our country at the very time in which Mr. Sparks 
was engaged on his work, which did not suggest to him the 
necessity of pursuing his researches in England and on the 
Continent. Indeed, there were many printed books, pam- 
phlets, and newspapers of prime importance to him, which were 
to be found only there ; and the public foreign archives con- 
tained the essential complement to what he had found in our 
own. After a passage of twenty days and a half, he landed at 
Liverpool on the 15th of April, 1828, and at once made his 
way to London. In England, as also on the Continent, Mr. 
Sparks was the pioneer and guide, as well as the wise and 
most helpful example, of that long succession of explorers and. 
historians, local, State, and national, from our own country, 
who have gone abroad to pursue their investigations. He 
facilitated the work and did more than any one else to insure 
the success of all who have* followed him. The researches 
which he had in view were then embarrassed by peculiar diffi- 
culties since removed. Traditional hostilities and the jealousy 
of the constituted guardians of. public state offices, and of 
their subordinate functionaries, rendered access to their treas- 
uries very difficult, even where it was not prohibited. But 
Mr. Sparks, largely through his own personal merits, and, for 
the rest, through the patronage which he easily secured, soon 
found the way open to him. His advances in it were dis- 
creet, and for the most part unimpeded, though requiring 
prudence, a subjection to tedious formalities, and the employ- 
ment of officials. Similar were his experiences in France. In 
England, his most valuable and active friends were Lord Hol- 
land, the Marquis of Lansdowne> and Sir James Mackintosh ; 
in Paris, Lafayette, and the Count de Marbois, whose work on 
this country was then submitted to his revision. Returning 
home, he landed in New York, May 11, 1829, bringing with 
him a valuable collection of complete papers, or of certified 



references, and of extracts and summaries of documents of the 
most essential importance. He was commended abroad for 
his personal and literary qualities. 

Mr. Sparks, finding it would be most convenient for him to 
be near the printing-office which he was henceforward to keep 
so busy in his service, and drawn by the congenial influences 
of the' place, transferred his residence to Cambridge, which was 
to be his home for the remainder of his life. Still a bachelor, 
he found apartments in different dwellings till he should have 
one of his own. On the 30th of August, 1832, he delivered 
before the Phi-Beta-Kappa Society the annual oration or dis- 
course. In his journal, he writes, " The affair went off as well 
as I could wish ; but I am not fond of public speaking." His 
subject was, " The 'Study of American History." Large por- 
tions of this discourse are published in the " Boston Book " 
(1837), and in "The American Museum" (1839). The 
manuscript, now among his papers, produces, on the perusal of 
it, the impression, conformed to the testimony of those among 
us who were present at its delivery, that it must have been 
listened to with an appreciative attention because of the scope, 
the solidity, and the substance of the views presented in it with 
a calm, impressive earnestness. Some there are, — and Mr. 
Sparks was one of them, — "not fond of public speaking," 
whose utterances have all the more weight on that account. 
Another and similar manuscript, among his papers, is a copy 
of an elaborate " Plan for the Study of History in American 
Colleges," which he drew up at the request of Dr. Matthews, 
Chancellor of the University of New York. At a later period, 
Mr. Sparks was applied to about taking office in the Smithso- 
nian Institution. There is no doubt but that in some such 
administrative function he would have organized and directed 
measures eminently helpful in our national development. 

On the 16th of October, 1832, Mr. Sparks married Miss 
Frances Anne, daughter of William Allen, Esq., of Hyde Park, 
N.Y. She was an accomplished and cultivated lady, but of 


delicate constitution, and not long spared to his companion- 
ship. She died of consumption, July 12, 1835, leaving a daugh- 
ter, Maria Yerplank, who also died of the same disease, at 
Cambridge, January 3, 1846, in her thirteenth year. 
. There is an interesting entry in the record in Mr. Sparks's 
journal, connected with his beginning in housekeeping. The 
fine old mansion in Cambridge, now the residence of Professor 
Longfellow, has become famous as the headquarters of Wash- 
ington while in command of the American army, at Cam- 
bridge. It is one of some half-dozen substantial dwellings, in 
the near neighborhood, still standing in their solid and even 
imposing dignity of architecture, which were owned by loyalists 
at the time of the Revolution, and, of course, confiscated. It 
belonged to Mrs. Cragie at the time Mr. Sparks made the fol- 
lowing record, under date of April 2, 1833 : " This day, began 
to occupy Mrs. Cragie's house in Cambridge. It is a singular 
circumstance, that while I am engaged in preparing for the 
press the letters of General Washington which he wrote at 
Cambridge after taking command of the American army, I 
should occupy the same rooms that he did at that time." It 
was indeed a felicitous coincidence. Beginning with the op- 
portunity of his long visit at Mount Vernon above mentioned, 
and following the whole course of his labors, it would seem 
as if Mr. Sparks had been specially privileged with oppor- 
tunities and influences for sympathetic " communications " 
with his great subject. 

It must have been with a feeling of deep and just satisfaction 
that he made the following entries in his journal. Under date 
of July 22, 1837, he writes, " Finished the Life of Washington, 
and sent the last sheet of the manuscript to the printer. It 
is ten years since Washington's papers were put into my 
hands." Though the " Life " is the first of the twelve volumes, 
as numbered in the series, it was the last to be completed and 
printed. Again, under date of August 7, 1837 : " Mr. Bush- 
rod Washington and Mrs. Marshall came here [Cambridge] 


from Yirginia. The account was settled to the entire satis- 
faction of all parties, up to the present time." And here it is 
proper to mention, that when, in 1853, he published, in four 
volumes, the " Correspondence of the American Revolution ; 
being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington," &c, 
from papers which, gathered from various sources, had been in 
his possession some twenty or thirty years, he surprised the 
heirs of the parties to his original contract, by sending to them' 
a like portion of the proceeds of the copyright. 

In completing an undertaking of such magnitude, involving 
so large a responsibility, and requiring such a continued devo- 
tion of some of the highest intellectual and moral qualities, 
with industry and extended inquiry, at home and abroad, and 
in so dealing with the more delicate relations of bis great sub- 
ject, as to give no just occasion of offence to the sensitive 
inheritors of prominent family names, nor to renew the acri- 
mony of old strifes, Mr. Sparks might well feel that he had 
made a most valuable contribution to our national literature. 
It hardly seems presumptuous to say that Washington himself 
would accept the service as a measure of his earthly reward. 

The first volume of the " Writings of Washington," being the 
second volume in the series of the whole work, was entered for 
copyright in 1833, and immediately published, followed by 
further issues, till the whole was in the hands of subscribers. 
In the Introductions to the second and third volumes, the 
editor sets forth with minute and full details the character 
of the materials with which he had been engaged, and the 
principles by which he had been guided in selecting from them, 
and putting them before his readers. He pledged himself to a 
rigid adherence to the most " scrupulous fidelity" in presenting 
such papers as he was compelled to print only in part, so that 
no alteration should be made in the sense or the expressed 
opinions of the writer. Many of these papers were substan- 
tially duplicates, and even triplicates. On the same day, or on 
successive days, during the war, Washington had occasion in 



writing to Congress and to other public bodies, or to individ- 
uals, to communicate the same facts, opinions, or suggestions. 
In such cases there would, for the most part, be only variations 
of phrase ; perhaps occasionally introducing in one of the papers 
a stronger expression than was found in the references to the 
same matter in the other papers. Washington also made 
many changes in the transcript of some of his writings as 
entered on his letter-books, after sending away the originals 
from which they were copied. How carefully Mr. Sparks had 
surveyed the exactions of his work, under these among many 
other conditions of guidance and embarrassment which it pre- 
sented, and with what sound discretion he chose his method 
for dealing with them, his own statements will fully testify. 

I have duly and deliberately weighed with myself, and, in 
conference with those whose opinions and wishes would have 
influence over me, have considered, whether any reference 
should be made, in these memorial pages, to the subject of con- 
troversy between Mr. Sparks and Lord Mahon, now Earl Stan- 
hope. There are constraining reasons which forbid that it 
should be passed unnoticed. Among Mr. Sparks's published 
works are three pamphlets relating to the controversy, which 
no friend of his can read to-day without feeling that the writer 
of them would not wish them to be forgotten or slighted ;, 
whether they be regarded in the light of a personal vindication, 
or as a further exposition of his own views of editorial duty. 
Besides, Lord Mahon has allowed to stand unchanged, in the 
appendix to the sixth volume of the last — which is the third 
and revised — edition of his History, the modified but still 
serious residue of his original " strictures." The writer of 
these pages has means of knowing that Mr. Sparks felt that 
the wrong which had been done him had not been adequately 
redressed. Some reflections had been cast upon him which 
wounded his self-respect, and which were sadly in contrast 
with the equity and generosity exhibited by him through his 
whole literary career. The respect which he so justly deserves 


from us as the chief of historical laborers in our country, and 
as an example to all who shall follow him, requires, therefore, 
a recital of the case. The statement of it ought to be as frank 
and as dispassionate as his own way of meeting it. 

In the preface', and in the two " Introductions," to his 
" Life and Writings of Washington," as has been just noted, 
Mr. Sparks had defined, with admirable explicitness, the well- 
judged principles and methods which he had deliberately 
adopted, in view of the many difficulties and embarrassing con- 
ditions of his task. He had to select and to extract letters 
and portions of letters, covenanting with his readers that the 
intelligibleness of the text should not be sacrificed, nor the 
meaning in any case misrepresented. True, he did not pledge 
himself not to add or to interpolate any words or opinions of 
his own, as he edited a selection of Washington's writings ; for 
it probably did not occur to him that any one would regard 
such a pledge as needed from him. His lucid exposition of 
his plan, and of his aim and course in working it out under 
perplexities, the real weight of which only one who, like him- 
self, had carefully examined the " two hundred folio volumes 
of manuscripts," could appreciate, was heartily approved by 
those for whom he had been laboring for ten years with an 
amazing diligence. Those who were competent to judge of 
the comparative excellence of his method, did something more 
than approve it. They discerned its wisdom, its felicity, its 
apt adjustment to the prime ends to be attained ; and they 
regarded it as, in itself, a remarkable attestation of the signal 
competency of the editor for the work he had undertaken. 
And this exposition of his method, as it received an unques- 
tioned contemporary approval, was found to be sufficient and 
suited at every point for Mr. Sparks's full and triumphant 
vindication when his editorial judgment and fidelity were im- 
pugned, some fifteen years afterwards. There had been no 
exception to the gratitude and commendation expressed by 
our large literary public as the completed work was circulated. 


Scholars, statesmen, and common readers joined in the ex- 
pression of their satisfaction that the honored and revered 
Washington had so adequate a presentment and portraiture to 
represent him in our homes. This general commendation had 
not been qualified by even critical fault-finding, still less by 
any censorious reflections or allegations. 

In the years 1851 and 1852, there appeared in the "New- 
York Evening Post," " The International Magazine," and 
"The Westminster Review" a series of charges against Mr. 
Sparks's editorial fidelity or competency, so severe and so 
unjust as to leave a mystery still unexplained to those who 
have sought to penetrate to the motive of them, if that motive 
is to be regarded as pure and candid. The only plausible ex- 
planation which was ever offered of these grievous reflections 
was, that they were designed to prepare the way for a rival edi- 
tion of the " Writings of Washington." Mr. Sparks was suf- 
fering, at the time, from a very severe illness ; sensitive to the 
great injustice done him, but compelled to defer the exposure 
of it. These charges were both general and particular, and a 
show was made of adducing evidence to substantiate them. 
They covered the whole range of his editorial responsibility, 
and accused him of all the offences of which a careless and 
unfaithful, a prejudiced and a biassed, editor could, under 
any circumstances, be guilty. It was alleged that he had 
omitted important words, sentences, or paragraphs from 
Washington's letters, and had interpolated words, phrases, 
and even sentences, of his own ; had modified forms of ex- 
pression, and altered the sense of the originals ; had stiffened 
some familiarities and severities of language, into cold and 
formal utterances, and had softened some asperities of judg- 
ment and invective in which Washington had indulged against 
the British Government and its officials, and against some of 
our own public and military men. These charges were read, by 
those competent to weigh them, with equal amazement and in- 
credulity, and by Mr. Sparks's most intimate friends with indig- 


nation. Those who were acquainted with him as a man, and 
who knew the qualities of his mind and character, felt outraged 
at what they could not but regard as transcending the range of 
criticism, and as engaging the weapons of malice and slander. 
He himself, at this stage of the issue, delayed to take public 
no'tice of the charges, doubtful if he ever should recognize 
them, and trusting, as well he might, that any one who would 
read his " Introductions " would learn at once how admirably 
he had anticipated and covered any degree of plausibility which 
such imputations and the show of warrant for them might be 
made to wear. 

Mr. Sparks supposed that Lord Mahon had been misled by 
the boldness of these charges into a reiteration of them, with 
an intensified and sharpened severity, in the following com- 
ment introduced into the Appendix to the first edition of the 
sixth volume of his " History of England : " "I am bound not to 
conceal the opinion I have formed, that Mr. Sparks has printed 
no part of the correspondence precisely as Washington wrote 
it, but has greatly altered, and, as he thinks, corrected and em- 
bellished it." No criticism would be in place here, as to that 
" opinion," or as to the mode of its expression. The " opinion" 
represents its own weight, as coming from one who, never 
having seen the original Washington manuscripts, assumed or 
implied an inference that could be drawn only from an actual 
comparison of them with the text of the printed volumes. 
Mr. Sparks was afterwards assured by Lord Mahon, that this 
" opinion " was not founded upon the strictures above referred 
to ; but was a generalized inference of his own from com- 
paring the contents of some pages of Mr. Sparks's volumes 
with those in the " Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed," 
and in Mr. Peter Force's "American Archives," presenting the 
same or similar matter as from the pen of Washington. 

Lord Mahon went even further in his venture. He divined 
motives for the very objectionable license which he supposed 
Mr. Sparks to have allowed himself. Mr. Sparks had " tarn- 


pered with the truth of history," for the purpose of " setting 
Washington on stilts," and in order to ascribe to him the "use 
of language more conformable to Washington's dignity of char- 
acter than Washington could use for himself." Mr. Sparks 
had also "been desirous to strike out as far as possible every 
word or phrase that could possibly touch the local fame of the 
gentlemen at Boston, or wound in any manner the sensitive 
feelings of New England." 

The painful necessity of self-vindication thus imposed upon 
Mr. Sparks was met by him with dignity, ability, and a literary 
triumph which will always henceforward be conspicuous in the 
class of controversies to which this belongs. One might well- 
nigh be reconciled to the fact of his having been subjected to 
such an annoyance because of the fulness and the success of his 
exculpation. He wrote and published three pamphlets covering 
all the elements of the controversy. The first of these is " A 
Reply to the Strictures of Lord Mahon and others, on the 
Mode of Editing the Writings of Washington." This his 
Lordship answered in a long and elaborate Letter, now printed 
in the appendix to the sixth volume of the revised edition of 
his History. Mr. Sparks rejoined in a " Letter to Lord Mahon ; 
being an Answer to his Letter addressed to the Editor of 
Washington's Writings." The third pamphlet is " Remarks 
on a ' Reprint of the original Letters from Washington to Joseph 
Reed, during the American Revolution, referred to in the 
pamphlets of Lord Mahon and Mr. Sparks.' " 

Some ten or twelve confidential letters, of which he had pre- 
served no copy, were written by Washington to Mr. Reed in 
the first year of the war. Copies of the originals of these, sup- 
posed to be correct, but, as it afterwards proved, imperfect, 
were furnished by the grandson, Mr. William B. Reed, to Mr. 
Sparks, and were used by the latter, as printed in " Washing- 
ton's Writings." The same letters being subsequently printed 
in the " Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed," by his 
grandson, occasional discrepancies appeared between the two 



texts. Mr. W. B. Reed afterwards reprinted the two versions 
in parallel columns, in a way to exhibit the variations. It was 
taken for granted that Mr. Reed's version was the correct one, 
and Lord Mahon was misled by that assumption. The result of 
the comparison proved that Mr. Sparks had been the more 
faithful editor. Mr. Reed himself admitting, on his own part, 
" occasional corrections of grammar and spelling, and the 
omission of one or two sentences, evidently the result of oversight" 
confessed to his own responsibility for those variations between 
the two versions of the letters on which Lord Mahon had based 
his most grievous and offensive charge against Mr. Sparks. 

As to the variations in another set of letters from Washington 
to Reed, of which there were copies in the Letter-Books of the 
former, described by the grandson of tha latter as alterations 
made by Mr. Sparks, a careful examination showed that they 
simply represented changes made by Washington's own pen, 
in the transcripts preserved by him of originals which he had 
sent to his correspondent. Says Mr. Sparks, "I am not 
answerable for the variations. I had no copy to follow or con- 
sult, but the one in Washington's Letter-Books." Mr. W. B. 
Reed incidentally remarked in his pamphlet, " The only safe 
rule seems to be that which was adopted by Chief- Justice Mar- 
shall long ago " ; namely, that whenever a passage in a letter 
was omitted or suppressed in print, the fact should be explicitly 
stated to the reader. Mr. Sparks shows that Judge Marshall's 
habit was the direct opposite of this rule, and that he omitted 
and suppressed constantly, at his own discretion, important 
passages in Washington's letters, without in any case indi- 
cating the fact by any mark. Mr. Sparks' s vindication of 
himself was complete and exhaustive, giving to his pamphlet a 
striking and almost unique character ; effecting its object by 
a calm and self-possessed dignity in tone and manner while 
presenting facts. Lord Mahon and others discovered in some 
letters of Washington sharp sentences which did not appear on 
Mr. Sparks's pages. A hasty inference was drawn as to a 


motive for the omission, warranting the severe strictures of his 
Lordship. Mr. Sparks, very deliberately referring his challenger 
to his " Introductions, " found his own exculpation easy. The 
phrases and sentences supposed to have been suppressed for a 
motive, were shown to have their places in paragraphs, pages, 
or whole letters which were omitted because they were sub- 
stantially duplicates of what was printed on contiguous pages. 
Mr. Sparks even found amusement in matching sentences 
which he was charged with leaving out from an ill motive, 
with other sentences of even a harsher tenor in their references 
to persons or subjects, appearing on the next or on very near 
pages in his volumes. In fact, in every instance specified, of 
an alleged suppression of matter which he was charged with a 
desire to keep back, the defendant was able to quote from letters, 
of the same or of proximate date, sentences of similar purport, 
which he had given in full because of their more comprehensive 
contents ; and these quotations more than supplied the supposed 
omissions. Allowing for some very trivial verbal errata, which 
were to be referred to accidents in the work of transcribing, or 
in the printing-office, or in the correction of the proof-sheets, 
Mr. Sparks's vindication of his editorial fidelity was complete. 
That he had added or interpolated opinions, phrases, or words 
of his own, and that he had attempted to "embellish" what 
Washington had written, were proved to be utterly groundless 
imputations. That sectional or personal prejudices or feelings 
had induced him to leave out a phrase or sentence from any 
paragraph or letter, the rest of which he had printed, or to 
omit a whole paragraph or a whole letter because it contained 
a sentence which he wished to suppress, was also disproved.* 

* It has been with no disposition to open anew a controversy so nearly closed, and 
followed by friendly relations between the parties to it, that the preceding paragraphs 
have been written. The writer would gladly have omitted all mention of it in this 
memorial of one who sought to live a tranquil life, on cordial terms with all fellow- 
laborers. But my inspection of Mr. Sparks's private papers, many of which so point- 
edly refer to the pain he felt at being charged with such motives, for such alleged 
editorial infidelity, has convinced me that he would approve utterance rather than 
silence upon it. It is grateful to add, that I find a copy of a letter from Mr. Sparks to 


By the completion of a work of such magnitude as that of Mr. 
Sparks's " Washington," the aims and labors of those who after- 
wards engage upon any part of the subject which has been thus 
faithfully treated are greatly facilitated. The original explorer 
has opened the paths and directed the way for his successors. 
They may glean in the same field. They may take a prose 
narrative, whose severity or dulness of detail is incident to its 
dealing with facts gathered by research and verified by arduous 
investigations, and they may rewrite the story, kindling it with 
gleams of brilliant rhetoric or with imaginative episodes. They 
may condense and expand, they may select, and, occasionally, 
add new elements of interest. Mr. Irving's Life of Washington, 
and Mr. Parton's Life of Franklin, faithful and charming 
reconstructions as they are, are far better suited for extensive 
popular use than are the voluminous works of Mr. Sparks. 
But the former authors owe a large indebtedness to him, who 
so facilitated their work. There certainly is no excess of 
warmth in the heartiness with which Mr. Irving acknowl- 
edged this indebtedness, in the sentences following : "I 
have also made frequent use of ' Washington's Writings,' as 
published by Mr. Sparks ; a careful collation of many of them 
with the originals having convinced me of the general correct- 
ness of the collection, and of the safety with which it may be 
relied upon for historical purposes ; and I am happy to bear 

Viscount Mahon, thanking him for the gift of the last volume of his History, in which, 
with general commendation, he introduces some courteous criticism, especially as to his 
Lordship's view of the case of Major Andre\ He thanks his Lordship, as President of 
the Society of Antiquaries, for procuring his election as a Member. Having learned 
from a friend that his noble correspondent had expressed a hope that he might see Mr. 
Sparks, if he should again visit England, the latter replies as follows: — 

" If I should again cross the Atlantic, I assure you the meeting you propose will he among my 
most agreeable anticipations. I know not why our literary skirmishes should interfere with per- 
sonal respect and esteem, or mar the relations of social intercourse. It would certainly give me 
pleasure to discuss with you, in a more unreserved way, the points of history and criticism which 
have been brought under our notice." 

Returning the compliment of his own admission to the Society of Antiquaries, 
Dr. Sparks, as many of our associates will remember, when he came back to us from 
his last European trip, during which he shared pleasant relations with Earl Stan- 
hope, procured his election to membership in our Society. 


this testimony to the essential accuracy of one whom I con- 
sider among the greatest benefactors to our national literature ; 
and to whose writings and researches I acknowledge myself 
largely indebted throughout my work." This acknowledg- 
ment was written in 1855, three years after Mr. Sparks had 
been subjected to the severe ordeal to which reference has been 
made above. Our genial and beautiful essayist, the unrivalled 
biographer of Columbus, needed not to have gone out of his 
delightful library on the shore of the Hudson, in writing his 
Life of Washington. Is it straining a claim and regard for 
Mr. Sparks beyond fair reason, to express a wish that Mr. 
Irving had allowed himself some heartier form of phrase than 
that of certifying to " the essential accuracy " and " the gen- 
eral correctness " of his predecessor, on a national theme?* 

Mr. Sparks did not limit his labor or sense of responsibility 
in preparing his work upon Washington to a regard for those 
who might read it in America. The world-wide fame of his 
great subject made him anxiously concerned that the results 
of his toil should appear in an authentic and creditable form, 
best adapted for use in the literature of Europe. Contenting 
himself with such suggestions as might favor the publication 
of the whole or any portion of the contents of his volumes by 
any one who might undertake it in Great Britain, he devoted 
considerable pains, when he was on the Continent, and in his 
correspondence on his return home, to provide for and secure 
suitable translations into the German and French languages. 

* Having allowed this expression of his own feeling to stand as above, the writer 
takes pleasure in adding, that while Mr. Irving published, for the large circle of his 
readers, only what has here been quoted from his preface, as his estimate of Mr. 
Sparks's labors and their result, in a private letter now before me, he utters himself in 
warmer terms, as follows : — 

"I doubt whether the world will ever get a more full and correct idea of Washington than is 
furnished by Sparks. It appears to me that Sparks has executed his task of selection, arrange- 
ment, and copious illustration with great judgment and discrimination, and with consummate 
fidelity to the purposes of history. Posterity will do justice to him and them." 

Mr. Sparks, of course, on his part, appreciated the attractions of style and the genial 
spirit of Mr. Irving's delightful work. 


A few extracts from his journals, relating to this point, will 
interest us here : — 

Journal, 1828. — "Professor Saalfeld conversed with me a good 
deal about Washington's Works, and seemed to take a lively interest in 
the subject. He said he would cheerfully undertake the task of trans- 
lating the selection I propose for the German public, if no other person 
can be found better suited for my purpose. He expressed a belief that 
the work would meet with great favor in Germany. Indeed, he showed 
a decided inclination to engage as translator." 

The Professor died before the work was finished in America. 
The friendly agency of Mr. George Ticknor was enlisted to 
secure another translator and editor in Germany. The result, 
a very satisfactory one to Mr. Sparks, was, the appearance in 
Leipsic, in 1839, of two solid octavo volumes, containing the 
Life, and a selection from the Writings, of Washington, trans- 
lated into German, by Friedrich von Raumer.* 

On the 26th of July, 1828, Mr. Sparks, writing in Paris, 
addressed the following letter to Lafayette, who desired great 
caution on the subject, " as many literary persons of minor 
qualifications would be glad to undertake it " : — 

" Dear Sir, — Do you remember that we conversed the other 
morning on the subject of providing a translation of Washington's 
Works, in Paris ? I believe you are acquainted with M. Guizot. 
Would he not be willing to undertake the translation ? . . . I presume 
no man is better qualified to do justice to the writings of your illustri- 
ous friend." 

Journal, August 4, 1828. — "Gen. Lafayette called on me. He 
said he knew M.- Guizot, that he was extremely well qualified for the 
work, and that he would see him to-morrow morning. He could think 
of only one objection, and that was, M. Guizot is not a republican. 
He said he would speak to Benjamin Constant on the subject, as he 
took a lively interest in it, and would give good counsel. . . . He 

* Mr. Sparks wrote as follows to Von Raumer, Sept. 1, 1837 : " The more you 
can find time to contribute, by way of Preface or Introduction, the better, as whatever 
you may write will not fail to recommend the work to the favor of the German public. 
... I suppose it was your intention to put your name on the titlepage as Editor of the 
German edition, and my name as author of the Life, and Editor of the original work." 


feared that business would make too many encroachments upon his 
leisure, whereas M. Guizot is a man of letters." 

Aug. 5. — " The General told me he had seen M. Guizot, -whose 
views and impressions were such as he could wish, and that M. Guizot 
would be glad to see me to-morrow, to converse upon the subject. It 
was settled that M. Remusat, who is going to marry the General's 
grand-daughter, should go with me to see M. Guizot. The General 
pressed me to come to Lagrange as soon as I could, and to remain as 
long as my time would permit." 

Aug. 6. — "M. Remusat called with me on M. Guizot. ... I ex- 
plained to him the general object and plan of "Washington's Works. 
He agrees to become responsible for a French translation of such parts 
as may be suitable to the French public ; to take the entire charge and 
superintendence of the publication ; to prefix his name to the work ; to 
supply an original introduction, and notes if necessary, and to render 
it, in all respects, such a production as he shall be willing to have go 
out under his name ; and he is willing it should be made public that he 
has undertaken this charge. I shall see him again, and have further 

Dec. 25, after Mr. Sparks's return from Lagrange : — 

u I concluded an arrangement with M. Guizot, to translate Washing- 
ton's Works. He is carefully to superintend the translation ; to see that 
it is correctly made ; to make such a selection as he shall think proper, 
for the French market, and to put his name in the titlepage, as the 
translator and French editor." 

In a letter to M. Guizot, dated Oct. 5, 1829, Mr. Sparks 
wrote : — 

" I trust that, before many months, I shall be able to send you the 
first volume. At all events, I hope you will not lose your interest in 
the work, nor be less inclined, by delay, to bring it in due time before 
the French public." 

When M. Guizot had become Prime Minister, Mr. Sparks 
feared that his arduous public duties might wholly prevent the 
fulfilment of the plan agreed upon ; but in a letter of Xov. 
6, 1830, he expresses a hope that the work will still come 
out under Guizot's superintendence, if he cannot himself pre- 
pare the edition. 


Writing to his friend, Mr. George Ticknor, then in Europe, 
under date of Aug. 7, 1837, Mr. Sparks says : — 

"Washington's Writings are now completed. ... I think I told 
you that M. Guizot agreed with me to take charge of a translation. 
... It is not likely that he would now have any thoughts of such an 
undertaking. Considering what has been done, however, it seems 
proper that he should be consulted before any steps are taken. . . . 
M. de Tocqueville might possibly, &c. ... I consider the business 
in your hands, precisely as it was in Germany, and according to the 
tenor of the letter that I wrote to you on the subject two years ago." 

The letter here referred to, under date of June 22, 1835, 
was as follows : — 

"When I was in Europe, seven years ago, I engaged Professor 
Saalfeld to translate a selection from Washington's Writings, for 
the German press, and M. Guizot to do the same for the French. 
Saalfeld is dead ; and Guizot has become a politician and a Minister 
of State, and therefore the arrangement with each of these gentlemen 
has failed. I have not written to Guizot since the work was put to 
press, knowing that his public employments would not allow him to have 
any thing to do with such an enterprise. Will you undertake to find, 
&c. ... It is desirable that both in Germany and France the work 
should be in the hands of a person of some literary eminence, who will 
be responsible for the translation, and put his name to it; and the 
translator should be perfectly master of the English language. 

" It was the opinion of Saalfeld and of Guizot, that a selection ex- 
tending to about four volumes, including the Life, would meet with a 
ready demand in the German and French market. I do not look for 
any pecuniary profit. The name of Washington will, undoubtedly, put 
it into the heads of publishers, after the work is completed, to procure 
a translation of parts ; and all I aim at is to anticipate such a plan, 
and to secure a judicious selection and faithful translation, which can 
be done only by a specific agreement, previously made, with persons in 
whom full confidence can be placed." 

As is well known, M. Guizot performed substantially the 
work that had been assigned, to him. In a letter to him 
under date of May 25, 1840, Mr. Sparks assures him of his 


" entire satisfaction with the manner in which the work has 
been executed, and of the great pleasure I have derived from 
the perusal of your Introduction. The character of Washing- 
ton is drawn with striking force and accuracy."* 

The French publication appeared, in 1840, in six volumes 
octavo ; and, on the European Continent and in Canada, con- 
tinues to be so widely known as " Guizot's Washington," as 
to leave Mr. Sparks' s prime services in it to be recognized only 
by its more intelligent and inquisitive readers. The name 
of Mr. Sparks was strangely omitted from the titlepage, — a 
singular fact, never yet accounted for. It contains a transla- 
tion of Mr. Sparks' s Life of Washington, and of a selection from 
the Correspondence and Writings, preceded by an Introduction 
" Upon the Influence and Character of Washington in the 
Revolution of the United States of America," by M. Guizot 
himself, — a much admired and most felicitously wrought pro- 
duction.f The " Avertissement des Editeurs " implies the 
engagement of more than one editorial mind or hand. The 
principle followed in the selection of matter from the whole 
original work, was to put before the French reader, first, 
such of its contents as concerned the relations of France with 
the United States in the revolutionary epoch, and the glorious 
share which France had had in it ; second, such as developed 
the policy of Washington in the subsequent establishment of 
the government ; third, such as revealed the character, the 
spirit, and the manners of the illustrious patriot. 

While his great labor was in progress, Mr. Sparks was 
engaged upon several other large works, some of which were 
so nearly related to it and to each other, as to prove mutually 
helpful in guiding his researches and in securing a common 
thoroughness in their execution. A Resolution of Congress 

* When Mr. Sparks was President of Harvard University, he transmitted to M. 
Guizot, with a letter dated Sept. 8, 1852, a diploma for the honorary degree of Doctor 
of Laws, conferred on him by the University. 

t This Introduction, admirably translated by the Hon. George S. Hillard, was pub^ 
lished in Boston. 



\ 4 

of March 27, 1818, had provided for the publication and distri- 
bution of certain secret journals and other documents of our 
revolutionary period, including the " Foreign Correspondence 
of the Congress of the United States, from the first meeting 
thereof, down to the date of the ratification of the definitive treaty 
of peace, &c, . . . except such parts of the said Foreign 
Correspondence as the President of the United States may deem 
it improper, at this time, to publish." This correspondence 
was secret and confidential. Letters arriving from American 
agents abroad during the Revolution, were read in Congress, 
and referred, with instructions, to a Standing Committee on 
Foreign Affairs. The papers, which had accumulated to a 
considerable mass, were committed to the Department of State 
of the Federal Government, and though accessible to proper 
persons, for proper purposes, had remained in manuscript. 
They were known to contain matter which it might be unwise, 
perhaps scandalous, to divulge. The Committee of Five, ap- 
pointed on the 29th of November, 1775, to correspond with the 
friends of America abroad, called, till April 17, 1777, the Com- 
mittee of Secret Correspondence, and afterwards, till the selection, 
Aug. 10, 1781, of R. R. Livingston, as Secretary of Foreign 
Affairs, the Committee of Foreign Affairs, — kept a separate 
journal, called the Secret Journal, in which were recorded the 
proceedings of Congress, in their department. ■ This journal 
had been published, in conformity with the above-mentioned 
resolution, before Mr. Sparks turned his attention to the sub- 
ject. On the 3d of January, 1827, after an examination of 
the papers and an estimate of the labor involved, and under 
an intelligent sense of the importance of the undertaking, Mr. 
Sparks wrote to President John Quincy Adams, offering to be 
the medium of carrying out the Resolution of Congress, by 
publishing the Diplomatic Correspondence, at his own risk, the 
Government being pledged, by the resolution, to the purchase 
of a thousand copies. The President was fully aware of the 
delicate, and possibly mischievous, complications in which the 


characters and repute and relations of some individuals might 
be involved by any ill-advised dealing with those papers. The 
dissensions and bickerings between some of our foreign agents 
having caused much trouble, while they were in progress, had 
left behind them an inheritance of acrimony which it was 
unwise to stir anew. He felt that it would be his duty, as in 
fact it had been denned by Congress, to read or examine the 
papers, and judge in each critical case between publication and 
suppression. After interviews and a full understanding with 
Mr. Sparks, however, he assured himself that he could safely 
trust in the historian's editorial discretion. A contract was 
therefore signed, May 21, 1827, by Mr. Sparks and Henry 
Clay, Secretary of State ; by the terms of which the copying of 
the papers was to be done at the expense of the Government, 
Mr. Sparks translating into English such documents as were 
in any other language, receiving four hundred dollars on each 
volume for editorial supervision, and binding himself to furnish 
Congress one thousand sets of the complete series at two dol- 
lars and an eighth per volume. He was at liberty to print as 
many more copies as he pleased. Mr. Sparks considered the 
contract a very valuable one, and on its profits he largely relied 
during his labors. 

The first four volumes of the Correspondence appeared in 
1829, the remaining eight in 1830, under the following title : 
" The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution. 
Being the Letters of Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, John 
Adams, John Jay, Arthur Lee, William Lee, Ralpli Izard, 
Francis Dana, William Carmichael, Henry Laurens, John 
Laurens, M. Dumas, and others, concerning the Foreign Rela- 
tions of the United States during the whole Revolution : 
together with the Letters in Reply from the Secret Committee 
of Congress, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs ; also, the 
entire Correspondence of the French Ministers, Gerard and 
Luzerne, with Congress. Edited by Jared Sparks." 

Between contracting for this editorial labor and the publica- 


tion of its results, occurred, as has been stated, Mr. Sparks's 
visit to Europe. His researches in the public offices of England 
and France had put him in possession of materials which might 
have been most fitly used to illustrate and explain the contents 
of these interesting volumes. But he interpreted the Resolution 
of Congress as not assigning him any liberty of commentary or 
addition. He has, however, introduced valuable foot-notes, 
which greatly assist the reader. To his own apparent surprise, 
he found that there was but little in the papers which he 
needed to suppress, as in fact they had been designed, for the 
most part at least, for the publicity of a reading in Congress. 
He was careful to guard against the renewing of old contentions. 
I am not aware that exceptions have been taken by any to the 
general commendation of his wisdom and fidelity in this work. 
Such collections of historic documents relating to the formation 
of our nationality, overlaid as they are by later public papers, 
must still be kept where they can be easily referred to. 

Soon after he had perfected his arrangements for his larger 
works, Mr. Sparks brought to completion a volume, the subject 
of which had greatly engaged his feelings, connected as it was 
with a fond wish of his own in earlier years. This was, " The 
Life of John Ledyard, the American Traveller, comprising 
Selections from his Journals and Correspondence." It was 
entered for copyright, and published in 1827 ; a second edition 
appearing in 1829. Dr. Isaac Ledyard, of New York, had 
collected many materials for the purpose (which he did not 
carry out) of writing the Biography of this enterprising youth, 
who died at Cairo, in 1788, in his thirty-eighth year. These 
collected materials Mr. Sparks obtained, and procured others 
by his own efforts. Through a friend, he interested Lafayette 
ill his object, and obtained from him valuable aid in the Biogra- 
phy. With the Lives written by Mr. Sparks afterwards for 
his own Library of American Biography, this work is a very 
pleasing illustration of the fitness of his method and style for 
engaging heartily the interest of his readers. In a letter which 


he wrote in Paris, January, 1841, to Henry Ledyard, Esq., our 
Charge d' Affaires, he gives an account of a visit he had jnst 
made to the Cemetery of Pere la Chaise, to examine some of 
the monuments, with the view of selecting a design for a memo- 
rial to the young traveller, to be set up at Cairo. Mr. Sparks 
draws out a design, with measurements and a proposed 

Immediately on his return from Europe,' in May, 1829, Mr. 
Sparks planned a publication intended for an annual series, 
and which was for many years afterwards regularly issued 
under the charge of successive editors, though his own multi- 
plied tasks compelled him to dispose of it after its first year. 
This was " The American Almanac," a vehicle of political and 
statistical information concerning the States and the Union. 
The idea of it occurred to him in June, and the volume 
was published Dec. 1, 1829, finding an immediate apprecia- 
tion, as indicated by the rapid sale of three thousand copies. 
His friend, Professor Farrar, prepared the astronomical portion 
of the contents, and was with him joint owner of the work. 
The obtaining of the other contents, with due detail and accu- 
racy, required of Mr. Sparks a vast deal of correspondence, as 
the official and statistical matters compressed in it were not 
furnished to the public as fully and freely then;] as in these 
days. The next year Mr. Sparks disposed of his share in the 
enterprise to Professor Farrar, who afterwards transferred it 
to the late Dr. J. E. Worcester. 

Another substantial work, requiring considerable editorial 
oversight and illustration, beside the gathering of the mate- 
rials, was published by this busy historical scholar, in 1832, in 
three octavo volumes, under the following title : " The Life of 

* Mr. Sparks endeavored, through the aid of Mr. Christopher Hughes Long, our 
Charge* d' Affaires at Stockholm, and Mr. Schroeder, our Minister Resident there, in 
1855, to trace a portrait of Ledyard, painted in London, in 1788, by the Swedish artist 
Breda, which Colonel Gibbs of New York had seen in Breda's gallery in Stockholni in 
1801. The search was unsuccessful. 

A German translation of the " Life of Ledyard " was published at Leipsic, in 1829. 


Gouverneur Morris, with Selections from his Correspondence 
and Miscellaneous Papers, detailing Events in the American 
Revolution, the French Revolution, and in the Political His- 
tory of the United States." Of course, in going over the 
same ground in the preparation of several works covering the 
same period of history, and relating the views and the agencies 
of leading contemporaries, Mr. Sparks found each of these 
undertakings helpful to a successful dealing with the others. 
Indeed, his researches for thoroughly qualifying himself for the 
task were exhaustive. He attained a skill and method which, 
applied to the communication of the knowledge he gathered 
from all available sources, assure his readers that he may be 
followed with implicit confidence alike in his exposition of an 
intricate subject and in his judicial comments on a contested 
matter. Chief-Justice Marshall, on receiving from him some of 
the volumes of the Writings of Washington, as they came suc- 
cessively from the press, complimented him warmly upon his 
editorial resources and success, instancing particularly the 
matter in the Appendix to Vol. V., on Conway's Cabal. 

Having in view a service in the department of Historical 
Biography, which should afford interest and instruction to the 
largest number and variety of readers, Mr. Sparks projected 
that series of publications which is known as " The Library of 
American Biography." His plan allowed for an indefinite 
series of volumes, four to be published in a year, so long as he 
could conveniently be responsible for the editorial work, and 
find co-operation from such writers as he sought to engage 
with him. His material was substantially inexhaustible, and 
he knew that the project, if judiciously executed, would at once 
gratify a popular taste, and pay a debt of posterity to many 
unrequited friends and benefactors of mankind on this conti- 
nent. He thus announced his object : " It is the design of 
this work to add something to the stock of our native literature 
in the department of Biography. Its plan embraces the lives 
of all persons who have been distinguished in America, from 


the date of its first discovery to the present time. Such a 
scheme, if faithfully carried through on the scale here assumed, 
would embrace a perfect history of the country, of its social 
and political progress, its arts, sciences, literature, and im- 
provements of every kind ; since these receive their impulse 
and direction from a comparatively few eminent individuals, 
whose achievements of thought and action it is the province of 
the biographer to commemorate." The editor intended to 
write but a few of the Biographies himself, and in fact he wrote 
even fewer of them than he had purposed, as he found many 
coadjutors of whose competent qualifications he was glad to 
avail himself, as securing a desirable variety in the style of the 
contributions. The work appeared in two series of volumes, — 
the first of ten, published in 1834-1838 ; the second of fifteen, 
published in 1844-1848. The first suggestion of the plan to 
his mind is noted in his journal, under date of July 20, 1832, 
thus : " I have been thinking of a project of a new publication, 
to be entitled ' A Library of American Biography, &c.' " His 
own contributions are Lives of Ethan Allen. Arnold, La Salle, 
Pulaski, Bibault, Marquette, Charles Lee, and a new edition of 
Ledyard. The two series contain nearly sixty Biographies. 

Before the publication of this work was completed, he pro- 
posed another series of volumes, running up in their titles and 
subjects to more than sixty. This plan he communicated to 
the writer, in a letter dated in March, 1847, asking co-operation 
in a most comprehensive scheme. He calls the projected series 
a " Library of American History," and he writes out at length 
the topics proposed for it. The list includes, in its first divi- 
sion, Histories of the French and English Discoveries and 
Enterprises in North America ; of the Early Settlements ; of 
the New-England Confederation ; of the North-American 
Indians ; of the Indian Wars ; of the French Missions to the 
Indians ; of the English Missions to the Indians ; of Canada 
and Nova Scotia ; of French Wars in America ; of Florida and 
the Spaniards ; of the Swedes in America, and of the Hugue- 


nots and Acadians. Then follow Histories of each of the 
States of the Union separately, and of the early settlements in 
the West, constituting the second division of the series. The 
third embraces Histories of the Revolution ; of the Confedera- 
tion ; of the Insurrection in Massachusetts ; of the Insurrec- 
tion in Pennsylvania, and of the Administrations of each of 
the Presidents separately, including, under that of Madison, 
the War of 1812. The fourth division includes Histories of the 
Foreign Relations of the United States ; of their Commerce ; 
of the Navy and Maritime Warfare ; of Manufactures ; of 
Finances ; of Paper Money and Banking ; of Legislation ; of 
the Judiciary ; of the Fisheries, and of Internal Commerce. 
The fifth division includes Histories of Education in the United 
States ; of Literature ; of Arts and Inventions ; of Sciences, 
and of Agriculture. The sixth is significantly devoted to a 
History of Slavery in the United States, as if that subject, not 
admitting of classification, might stand by itself. The seventh 
and last division includes the titles of Histories of the Metho- 
dists in the United States ; of the Presbyterians ; of the Bap- 
tists ; of the Congregationalists ; Episcopalians ; Quakers ; 
Moravians ; and Shakers ; and of Witchcraft, of which last, 
undoubtedly, Mr. Sparks would have recognized a modern con- 

Such is the list of subjects displayed upon a single sheet of 
paper now before me. The author and deviser of this plan 
designed that each subject should be committed to the indi- 
vidual person in the United States best qualified to treat it 
with ability, thoroughness, impartiality, and fidelity, and that 
when the undertaking was thoroughly matured, with the help 
of editorial oversight, four volumes should be published in a 
year. One feels at first as if he had added largely to his 
knowledge simply by reading over the list of subjects ; but the 
second thought is not so self-flattering. The late Mr. James 
Brown, so honored among us for his virtues, and for his 
generous patronage of authors and of literature, was a hearty 


approver of this project, and would have nobly co-operated in 
it. As a whole, the scheme stands unappropriated, inviting 
the zeal and effort of any one who partakes of the editorial 
qualities of Mr. Sparks, and can summon and guide coadjutors 
as he could. Some of the subjects on this list have already 
engaged to good purpose several of our associates and others 
in our community. 

The following title stands to represent another of the great 
toils of Mr. Sparks's manhood, and all the best characteristics 
of his laborious and conscientious literary work for his con- 
temporaries and for all posterity : " The Works of Benjamin 
Franklin : containing several Political and Historical Tracts not 
included in any former edition, and many Letters, official and 
private, not hitherto published ; with Notes, and a Life of the 
Author." Here are ten solid octavo volumes, of which that 
portion of the matter that was then for the first time put into 
print, was procured by unwearied diligence and extended 
inquiry. The editorial illustration of the whole in notes and 
appendices, it may fairly be affirmed, enhances the value of 
these rich memorials of the American philosopher. Mr. Sparks 
had already published, in 1833, a small volume of Franklin's 
" Familiar Letters," most of the contents of which were then, 
for the first time, put into print, having been largely of his own 
collecting. Led on from that beginning, and keeping a larger 
object in view while gathering the materials of his other works, 
he succeeded in bringing together, from a strange variety of 
hiding-places and repositories, from five to six hundred origi- 
nal letters and other unprinted papers of Dr. Franklin. The 
sketch and summary given in his preface, make any but a 
clear-headed reader bewildered in the perusal of its compre- 
hensive researches, analysis, and distribution of thanks among 
those to whom he had been indebted. The publication of the 
volumes began in 1836, and ended in 1840. Under date of 
Feb. 24, 1840, the journal gives us this entry: "Sent to 
press the last sheet often volumes ; the Life of Franklin, four 


years in preparation. A very laborious undertaking, of which 
I had not formed a proper estimate. In fact the materials 
accumulated on my hands, greatly beyond what I had antici- 
pated, making ten volumes instead of six or seven, as I had 
supposed. I have spared no pains to collect all the known 
writings of Franklin, and to write notes on such parts as 
required explanation. In the printing, also, Mr. Folsom be- 
stowed the greatest care and accuracy, having previously read 
all the proofs. On the whole, few works of such magnitude 
have been executed with more fidelity, both as to literary and 
mechanical supervision." The most self-complacent record I 
have found from this modest pen. 

It would be unpardonable to omit here a grateful revelation 
which Mr. Sparks has left in his journal, as follows : " Frank- 
lin's Autobiography was the book which first roused my 
mental energies, such as they are, and directed them to nobler 
objects than they seemed destined by fortune or the fates to be 
engaged in. It prompted me to resolutions, and gave me 
strength to adhere to them. It inspired me with an ardor 
which I had not felt before, and which never afterwards for- 
sook me. It taught me that circumstances have not a sov- 
ereign control over the mind." 

Mr. Sparks's residence at Cambridge, his high intellectual 
culture, and his eminent reputation as a scholar and a man of 
letters, very naturally prompted the desire on the part of 
President Quincy, and the other members of the Corporation, 
as well as of the Faculty, that he should be connected with the 
college in some office of instruction. His former rank as a 
student, and his services as a tutor, had not been forgotten. It 
appears from his journal that, in June, 1836, the President had 
proffered for his acceptance the Alford Professorship of Natural 
Theology, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity. For reasons 
satisfactory to himself, and which had weight in themselves, 
Mr. Sparks declined the proffer. In fact it must be admitted 
that he was not specially qualified by taste, habits of mind, 


or adaptation of powers, to an academic office which would 
require of him an active participation in the work of elementary 
instruction ; and he had a positive disinclination to a personal 
share in the method of administering college discipline. His 
sympathy for young men was warm, his tolerance was large, 
his indulgence would cover much which sterner and more 
experienced mentors might perhaps wisely visit with punish- 
ment. It was his fond theory that kindness, concession, and 
appeals to their self-respect and better feelings, were the most 
effective agencies for influencing such a class of young men as 
were seeking and enjoying the opportunities of a liberal educa- 
tion. He was especially out of sympathy with the method of 
ascertaining and assigning rank and college honors by a scale 
of marks, with rules for deductions. He was persuaded that, 
by this method, those who were gifted with genius and other 
mental facilities received an additional favoritism ; while the 
industry and persevering efforts of the dull and slow of faculty 
failed of due consideration. His friend, Mr. Edmund Dwight, 
was earnestly desirous that he should assume, as Secretary, 
the direction of the Normal-school project, which owed so 
much to the liberality and zeal of the former. The solicitation 
resulted in Mr. Sparks's becoming a member of the Board of 
Education. He devoted himself to the duties of this responsi- 
ble office from 1837, till he resigned it in a letter which he 
addressed, while in Paris, Dec. 30, 1840, to Governor Davis^ 
of Massachusetts. He says, in his journal, "The Board is 
endowed with twenty thousand dollars. One main object is, 
to enlist the people in this experiment, so that the legislature 
may be induced to make a permanent establishment of Normal 
schools throughout the State. It is desirable, therefore, that 
the people should, in the first instance, join in the undertaking 
so far, at least, as to contribute some part of the expense. 
Thus, should the experiment prove successful, the members of 
the legislature, receiving their impressions from the people, 
will be the more ready to carry out and complete the design." 
(September, 1837.) 


After various interviews and solicitations from President 
Quincy, referred to in his journal, Mr. Sparks was induced to 
accept, under conditions largely of his own suggestion, the 
McLean Professorship of Ancient and Modern History in the 
college. He performed duties in this office from February, 
1839, till he entered upon the Presidency of the college, in 1849. 
The terms of his understanding with the Corporation allowed 
him to do the work of his professorship by giving instruction in 
American History, and by delivering lectures to the junior and 
senior classes afterward. His researches took him to Europe 
a second time while holding his professorship. In his in- 
structions he used Botta's History for a text-book, because, as 
he writes, "I can procure no other." His object he. defines 
to be, " to communicate instruction in all the exercises ; and 
not merely to discipline the students in the habit of study, 
which has been done sufficiently in the early part of their 
college-life." He understood that he was to have no share in 
government and discipline. " Mr. Quincy said it was not 
proposed that I should have any thing to do in the way of 
teaching by recitation from books. Occasional examination 
and lecturing were proposed. For any thing else I am not to 
be responsible. Let the tutors drill the boys." To such of the 
students as were engaged by any special interest in the subject, 
or were mature enough in mind to appreciate his carefully 
prepared lectures, the opportunities enjoyed under his in- 
struction were of great value. In 1841, Professor Sparks 
edited, for the use of his classes, an American reprint of Pro- 
fessor Smyth's " Lectures on Modern History," a work of 
which he had a high opinion. An interesting Preface, and a 
list of books on American History, were furnished by the 
editor for this text-book. 

It was intimated, in an early page of this Memoir, that 
political office had been within the easy reach of Mr. Sparks. 
Some references made to this subject, in his journals, may be 
copied here : — 


Under date of Sept. 27, 1834, he writes: "Mr. ■ called, and 

asked if I would consent to be nominated by the Whig party, as a 
candidate for Congress. I declined, for the same reason as in a former 
case. I am persuaded it is not expedient for me to go out of my 
present walk to enter into the turmoils of public life. I think I can 
do more for the public good in my present pursuits." 

Again, under date of Oct. 1, 1838: "For several days I have 
been pressed, very strongly, by several gentlemen of first respectability, 
to allow myself to be put in nomination as a candidate for member of 
Congress, for the Middlesex District. Four years ago I was solicited 
for the same object. I then declined on grounds which I thought suffi- 
ciently conclusive. I have not since changed my mind. My long 
study of the history of the country, and my extensive researches into 
its resources, have qualified me, as I think, for a field of usefulness 
of much more importance. Should life and health be spared, I hope, 
and have some confidence in the belief, that the fruit of these researches 
and the result of my future labors will not disappoint my own antici- 
pations, nor be without benefit to the public." 

And once more, Feb. 28, 1839 : " Received a letter written, at 
the instance of certain Abolitionists, for the purpose of ascertaining 
from me what are my views on the subject of the abolition of slavery, 
with the ultimate view of soliciting me to accede to a nomination as 
candidate for Representative to Congress in this district. See my 
letter in reply." 

On the first occasion, referred to in these extracts, in which 
he was solicited to allow himself to be a candidate for political 
office, even an earlier request of the same sort is referred 
to. The office proposed was that which had been filled by 
Hon. Edward Everett, who confidently expressed his belief 
that Mr. Sparks would have been chosen by a large vote. I 
have read his " letter in reply " to his correspondent. The 
sentiments of it are such as may well be inferred from the 
nobleness of his personal character, and the nationality of 
his views on subjects which concerned amicable relations 
between different parts of the country and fidelity to consti- 
tutional obligations. He expresses a strong abhorrence of 
slavery, and an ardent desire to have the nation's stain re- 
moved, and the wrong redressed. He would, if in office, 



strive to banish it from the seat of government, and to forbid 
the traffic in slaves between the States. He did not sympathize 
with some of the measures of the organized Abolitionists. 

Had he entered upon political life, it certainly would not have 
been to his gain in personal comfort, or even in any extensive 
opportunities of enlarging his fame. As a man whose convic- 
tions and opinions, as well as tastes and sympathies, led him 
to stand clear of all party relations, he would have found him- 
self, in that period of intense political turmoil, compelled to 
be counted on the side to which he did not morally belong. 
Those of us who have looked from a distance upon the Con- 
gressional strifes of the last quarter of a century, have had 
divided hearts and inconsistent wishes concerning our own 
representation in those stormy agitations. We are constantly 
expressing our regretful laments that we have not such men 
as Mr. Sparks to speak and vote for us. Yet we have sympa- 
thized with and confirmed the distaste and repugnance of those 
whom most we love, honor, and trust, if the lot threatens to fall 
on them. 

On the 21st of May, 1839, Mr. Sparks married Miss Mary 
Crowninshield, daughter of Hon. Nathaniel Silsbee, an eminent 
merchant of Salem, and colleague Senator of the United States 
with Hon. Daniel Webster. He made another visit to Europe 
in 1840, landing at Portsmouth on the 23d of July, and arriv- 
ing at Boston, on his return, on the 19th of April, 1841. 

The Hon. Edward Everett having resigned the Presidency of 
Harvard College, in February, 1849, after a very devoted and 
faithful, though brief, administration of three years, the Corpo- 
ration chose Dr. Sparks (he had received the degree of LL.D. 
from Dartmouth College in 1841, and from Harvard in 1843), 
to be his successor in that office. It was rather with reluc- 
tance, and with no enthusiastic expectations of any eminent 
success or of much personal satisfaction in discharging its 
duties, that Dr. Sparks consented to assume it. All that the 
approbation of the community at large, the fond appreciation 


of the immediate friends of the College, the respect of the Fac- 
ulty and the love of the Students could contribute, as motives to 
induce him to accept the honor offered to him, was needed to 
persuade him to charge himself with its responsibilities. It 
had vexations as well as exactions. The conditions and rela- 
tions under which, by usage and the College statutes, the 
President was expected to administer the institution, were not 
in all respects such as he would himself have chosen ; and he 
knew that its routine duties would burden him with details not 
always attractive. 

It was therefore in perfect consistency with the frankness 
and conscientiousness so characteristic of him, that, before ac- 
cepting the proffered trust with its dignities and its responsibil- 
ities, he communicated to the Fellows of the College what would 
be his own views of the nature of his duties in it, and his distinct 
understanding that certain modifications should be made in the 
official labors of the Presidency as it had been administered by 
his immediate predecessors. His intent and purpose would 
be faithfully to perform all the duties which he should as- 
sume ; but he was free to covenant beforehand that what was 
expected of him and assigned to him should be such as his 
ability, his time, and his best judgment would enable him to 
discharge. In a letter to President Quincy, in October, 1838, 
concerning the duties of the Professorship, he had written as 
follows : — 

" In justice to myself, I ought to say, that it has never been my 
habit to engage with indifference or remissness in any undertaking. I 
should hope a connection with the College would not have a tendency 
to generate such a habit. If a sense of duty is not enough, there is 
the additional motive of reputation as affected by the success of my 
labors and by the prosperity of the institution, which I believe I should 
feel as strongly as any man." 

The following extract from his letter to the Corporation, 
dated Cambridge, Jan. 15, 1849, illustrates what has just 
been said. After assenting to accept the Presidency, if 


his appointment should be confirmed by the Overseers, he 
writes : — 

" In giving this assent, I deem it proper to repeat, as constituting 
in part the ground on which it is founded, what I have more fully ex- 
plained in my interviews with the several members of the Corporation. 
It is known that I have been for some time engaged in a literary work, 
which is now in progress and which it is my purpose to complete. I 
believe that such an undertaking can be in no respect inconsistent with 
the interests of the College, and, while the appropriate duties of the 
President are faithfully executed, I shall consider myself at liberty, 
without incurring a suspicion of neglect, to devote to it such portions 
of time as I may find at my disposal. 

" Again, the details of the President's office have by usage gradually 
become so numerous and burdensome, that I confess I should not hesitate 
to decline the honorable station you have, proffered to me, if it involved 
the necessity of executing, or even superintending, these details as they 
now exist. I do not think that the mind and energies of the President 
should be exhausted by the perpetual recurrence and accumulation 
of labors of this kind, which may be as promptly and more prop- 
erly performed by others. Knowing, as I do, the disposition and prac- 
tice of all the members of the Faculty scrupulously to perform every 
duty incumbent on them, and in such a manner as in their judgment 
will best contribute to the internal prosperity of the College, I cannot 
doubt that they will cheerfully unite in devising some method, either of 
diminishing the number of these details, or assigning the execution of 
them to various hands. I will add only, that, from the views which I 
believe the Corporation generally to entertain on this subject, I rely on 
their countenance and sanction of any arrangement which may be 
thought practicable and reasonable for attaining the object desired, 
with due reference to the judgment and experience of the Faculty." 

The Corporation cordially acceded to, and took measures to 
initiate and make effective, such modifications of his adminis- 
trative and executive duty as Dr. Sparks desired. In council 
with the Faculty, who were in sympathy with his views, certain 
duties were assigned to a Regent under his direction, and to 
class tutors ; and the conditions which his judgment had dic- 
tated were fully complied with. 


Having been elected on the 1st of February, 1849, he was in- 
augurated on the 20th of June following. The exercises on 
that occasion were of marked interest, and much enthusiasm 
was excited and displayed. Especially did the undergraduates 
engage in them with hearty feeling and with hopeful anticipa- 
tions. Knowing what he had been, and divining, further 
than they had experienced, what he would be, they welcomed 
him as one who would preside over them with a considerate 
and gentle rule. They had become attached to him by his 
sympathetic and indulgent spirit, manifested to many among 
them in private as well as in official intercourse. His love 
and admiration for Kirkland might well be expected to 
decide the spirit of his administration, as most happily they 

In his Inaugural Address, he indicated the purposes and aims 
by which his course would be guided. No man could more 
thoroughly appreciate and more fitly express in sentiment and 
language, the memories, traditions, and symbolic significance 
of what there was of ceremony associated with the services of an 
Inauguration at Cambridge. The list of the College Presidents, 
covering more than two centuries of our now lengthening his- 
tory, is eminently suggestive and indicative of the course and 
method of the development of the higher interests of culture 
in our community. One who, with loving interest and pains- 
taking research, has acquainted himself with the history of that 
now venerable institution, can stand on a spot which brings its 
halls within his view, and by a swift process of the mind can re- 
call the wilderness scenery of the past, and plant there the little 
brick structure, " The Indian School " of the Fathers. Steadily, 
and step by step, as the natural wilderness has yielded to the 
labor of the hand, and intelligence, enterprise, piety, and ex- 
panding and deepening benevolence have gathered and dis- 
pensed the materials of a nobler wealth, that College has been 
the deposit of all the gains of passing years. Its treasury, first 
endowed by an exiled minister, a graduate from the elder Cam- 



bridge, received its earlier gifts of pewter, corn, and other 
" country produce," and has since added year by year the con- 
tributions and bequests of the affluent, the largest of them 
coming from those who had failed of, rather than enjoyed, its 
kindly nurture. A new department, a costlier apparatus, an 
enlarged Faculty, and a broader foundation, successively mark- 
ing progress, have proved that the College has kept even pace 
with the resources and demands of those whose cherished heri- 
tage it has been through changing generations.* 

The list of the names on any roll of those who have held high 
official trusts in Massachusetts, — magisterial, judicial, clerical, 
or academical, — will generally show the purpose of those who 
elected them to recognize the new demands of differing times, 
and to secure the services of men most likely to satisfy them. 
The list of the College Presidents is an illustration of this wise 
and expedient course. In a few paragraphs in the opening of 
his Address, Dr. Sparks condensed such retrospective histori- 
cal references as were in harmony with the occasion, and then 
he presented to his auditors views and convictions of his own, 
which received a profound impressiveness from his earnest 
statement of them, and from their own weight of wisdom. He 
started from the axiom that popular education is the result of 
free institutions, and opens wide the doors of culture and intel- 
ligence to every individual. The means for securing the 
blessing form dependent links in a chain of graded schools, 
academies, and colleges. Our colleges are strictly of American 
origin, organization, and growth, and, as such, they have some 
peculiar characteristics in common, though, as he thought, 
there were too many of them. A collegiate course should be 
arranged with reference to occupying the intercalary years 
between early and strictly professional studies. Dr. Sparks 

* " Relic and Type of our ancestors' worth, 
That has long kept their memory warm ! 
First flower of their wilderness ! Star of their night, 
Calm rising through change and through storm! " 

Dr. Gilmarts Ode at the 2d Centennial of Harvard. 


affirmed that he should have regard to the highest common 
good of all the students, and that he should especially aim to help 
and encourage the dull, the slow, and the ill-prepared ones 
among them, rather than to advance and perfect a few favored 
by genius and opportunities. Without wholly rejecting or dis- 
approving the system of elective studies, — allowing students 
early in their course to choose their favorite branches, — he 
emphasized the importance to all of a broad foundation for all 
later acquisitions, which should include an initiatory acquaint- 
ance in the languages and in science. He closed with a cheer- 
ing style of address to the young men, which at once assured 
them of what his brief administration proved, that, as they used 
to express it, " The President was on their side." 

His was a brief administration, hardly long enough for the 
full development and experimental trial of any peculiarity in 
the purpose, aims, or methods of the President. I believe it 
was the judgment of his associates in the Faculty, that, under 
the modifications which, with their advice and co-operation 
founded upon his previous understanding with the Corporation 
he had introduced into the duties of his office, he discharged 
them with a scrupulous and conscientious fidelity, throwing into 
them a heartiness of interest, a wise discretion, and a practical 
efficiency of administration. He was equally considerate of the 
wishes and convictions of his associates, and of his own inde- 
pendent responsibility. On one occasion, he found himself at 
variance with their unanimous decision on some matter which 
had engaged their deliberations and their votes. With good- 
natured persistency he refused to act by the decision, saying 
that he would bring the matter before the Corporation. Subse- 
quently, however, the members of the Faculty accepted his 
judgment and yielded their own. His administration had 
many strong points. 

His course at the outset was not a mere effort to throw off 
work, but the result of faithful, elaborate, and judicious planning 
with reference to the highest interests of the College. Dr. 


Kirkland had been unparalleled in the paternal element of 
discipline, but he had little capacity for business. His non- 
systematic administration sufficed for small classes and a limited 
board of teachers, — most of them nearly his coevals, with but 
few extra-mural intersets, — the now numerous professional 
departments not having then gathered around the original 
academic nucleus of the University. President Quincy insti- 
tuted a system so perfect that the College still lives by it, as it 
might do for a century to come. But he managed its details 
himself with a punctilious and unwearied fidelity and capacity 
of oversight, in part born in him, and for the rest practised in his 
conspicuous devotion to his former municipal duties in Boston. 
Yet even with his early hours and his indefatigable industry, 
his task required the exclusive absorption of all other occupa- 
tions in it. President Everett attempted to unite the methods 
of both his predecessors, and he would have done so had it lain 
within the ability of any one man. But it was more than 
the strongest or the best man could accomplish. Dr. Sparks, 
as a member of the Faculty, a fond lover of Kirkland, an admir- 
ing friend of Quincy, saw this. He revived, or rather created, 
the Regent's office (for, before, it had been a mere name) ; he 
arranged, with great skill and precision, the distinction between 
its duties and those of the President ; and, in fact, made the 
office precisely what it has continued to be : the balance-wheel 
in the complicated machinery of the College. In so doing, he 
made the President's office what it had not been before, — an 
office whose functions, many of them still trivial, all had more 
or less direct bearing on the education or moral well-being of 
the students. 

This division of the former labors of the Presidency yet left 
to the President, not indeed numerical calculations for fixing 
rank, but still a great deal of minute, embarrassing, perplexing 
detail ; and one prime quality of Mr. Sparks's administration 
was his close and patient attention to the smallest details which 
came within his province. He knew well the conditions of 
such fidelity. 


For genial kindness, generosity to poor students, sympathy 
with the struggling, perseverance in the endeavor to encourage, 
reform, and save those who came under discipline, he stood 
close by the side of the revered predecessor, who had been his 
early friend. In this regard, Mr. Sparks could not have a 
higher praise. Among his many letters'of information, advice, 
and sympathy, written in reply to young men all over the coun- 
try, who had in view preparation for entering the College, I 
find striking tokens of his warm-hearted interest in the case of 
those embarrassed by indigence. From one of these I venture 
to quote the following : — 

" Your case is similar to my own at your age. I was compelled to 
struggle with many difficulties ; but by a firm resolution and a steady 
perseverance I contrived to make my way through them." 

President Sparks was earnestly desirous of extending the 
privileges of the University to the greatest number ; and 
whether this be regarded as the wisest policy or not, it was 
openly his policy, and one which he pursued with great single- 
ness of purpose. 

In every department of the University, and especially in his 
intercourse with the students, the power of his character made 
itself profoundly felt. His whole past life — mental, moral, spir- 
itual — went into his common words and deeds. It was felt that 
whatever he did was done with soul and strength, with care- 
ful thought and strenuous purpose. He alone, of all the Pres- 
idents of Harvard, was in the habit of attending recitations and 
lectures. He made it a rule to attend at least one exercise, 
sometimes several, each term, in each department, in each class, 
and with every teacher : attending, too, with eyes and ears open, 
and as one participating in the exercise, and always with the 
expression of approval, or with suggestions as to what might 
be amended. 

His voluminous and carefully copied correspondence, me- 
thodically arranged, is evidence of the industry, patience, fidel- 


ity, and wisdom, with which he administered all the departments 
of the University, informing himself of the exact condition of 
each, proposing methods and details of improvement, intro- 
ducing or perfecting system, and bringing himself into intimate 
personal relations with every officer and teacher. His patron- 
age, often asked where it might not be granted, was respectfully 
withheld or cordially bestowed. 

It was during Mr. Sparks' s administration that the Legislature 
of the Commonwealth was prompted to undertake measures 
aiming for an alteration of the organic law and the charter 
rights of the President and Fellows of the College, and, when 
this intention was successfully withstood, reconstructed the 
Board of Overseers. The former measure, which was held to 
be wholly unwarranted by those whose vested rights it threat- 
ened, while it also was regarded as of mischievous tendency as 
it bore upon the best interests of the institution, was success- 
fully resisted by the plea and argument of a most carefully pre- 
pared " Memorial " addressed to the Legislature. The Journal 
of the President, in December, 1851, records his being diligently 
engaged in preparing this Memorial. He credits the Treas- 
urer, Mr. Eliot, with furnishing him notes and financial facts 
for this admirable document, and his associate and our associ- 
ate, the late excellent and honored Mr. Charles G. Loring, as 
writing the legal argument in the third part of the paper. The 
effect of this Memorial obviated all necessity of the course pur- 
sued by Dartmouth College, which called out the first conspic- 
uous display of Mr. Webster's powers. 

True to his taste and conscience, and his natural and well 
trained instincts as an historian, one of the President's first 
labors was to subject the College archives to a thorough ex- 
amination. He found important and very valuable manuscript 
papers, which had been kept in loose parcels, without any me- 
thodical distribution or arrangement. Neglect and frequent 
removals from place to place had thrown them into disorder, 
and some of them had been mislaid or lost. He wrote to the 


families of former Presidents arid officers of the College, asking 
a search for other College documents. Gathering them from 
all sources, he arranged and classified these precious papers, 
and, having them disposed and bound in substantial volumes, 
he provided for them a fire-proof deposit. Of this grateful 
but laborious undertaking, which was prompted by him, and 
approved by a vote of the Corporation, he had the satisfaction 
of communicating the completion in a letter to that body, dated 
Dec. 23, 1852. This Collection of College Papers is in 28 folio 
and 35 quarto volumes. 

He suffered at intervals from illness affecting his spirits and 
incapacitating him for official labor, though in the main a man 
of vigor. Under the infliction of a severe cough, attended with 
sharp pain, he found a change of place and a release from 
responsibility so necessary, that he spent from September 
to November, 1850, in easy travelling. With the care and 
sympathy of his life-long friend, Mr. Charles Folsom, as his 
reliance, he visited some old familiar scenes in Virginia and 
Maryland, and returned to his work much benefited. On 
Saturday, March 23, 1851, as he was walking to Cambridge 
from Boston, over West-Boston Bridge, he was run over by 
two men driving in a chaise. His collar-bone was broken and 
one of the ribs was severely injured. Two students, on their 
way, were fortunately soon by his side to give their ready aid 
to their beloved President. He was confined to his house five 
weeks. When first he appeared again at morning prayers in 
the Chapel, the recognition and welcome which greeted him 
from the students, and the mode in which they manifested their 
regard and veneration, touched him very deeply. The effects 
of this injury upon his right arm were permanent. Connected 
with neuralgia, they disabled him from all the work which he 
loved to do. He never fully recovered. Indeed, he never 
fully recovered his former facility at the upright desk at which 
he had wrought so laboriously with his pen. In his letters to his 
correspondents, he apologizes for resorting to another hand than 


his own. His rich and voluminous collection of manuscript 
historical materials — to which he continued to make costly 
and far-sought additions — occupied the laden shelves and 
drawers around him, and it required all the patience and 
sweetness of his well-trained spirit to see it ever soliciting his 
willing mind while the impediment of the physical frame stood 

Having thus been twice compelled to suspend the perform- 
ance of the duties of an office which he felt that he ought not to 
hold while he could not meet the daily responsibility, President 
Sparks was satisfied that the state of his health justified him in 
resigning that office when the fourth year of his administration 
should close. On the 30th of October, 1852, he addressed to 
the Corporation a letter of resignation, assigning for it the rea- 
son above stated, expressing his satisfaction for the uninter- 
rupted harmony of all his intercourse and relations with them, 
and thanking his associates in the Faculty for their friendliness 
and fidelity. The Corporation accepted his resignation with 
regret, conveying to him their gratitude and respect, assuring 
him that in his short term there has been " a spirit of progress 
visible, which will not be without effect on the future ; and 
amid our regret at the loss of your co-operation, we would not 
be unmindful of the good you have accomplished, and the 
improvements you have suggested." 

His resignation took effect on the 10th of February, 1853. 
The correspondence which passed between him and the Fac- 
ulty, and the Heads of Departments in the University, indi- 
cates a heartiness of appreciation and a considerate estimate 
of his noble qualities, which might well solace any melancholy 
he might feel for the brevity of his administration. The mem- 
bers of the College classes, over which he had presided, sought 
and received from him the privilege of having his bust in mar- 
ble procured at their charge for the College Library. There 
may it ever stand, a memory and presentment of the noble and 
endeared man whose features and lineaments it embodies. A 


library of ancient and modern books is the fitting place for the 
monument of one whose name is on • more than six hundred 
thousand volumes circulating in our land. 

Dr. Sparks's official correspondence, as President, closes, as 
copied in his Letter-Books, only to allow the renewal, with a 
resolved earnestness, of the evidence of his purpose to give him- 
self to the set task of his life. He wrote constantly to his liter- 
ary friends, and to high official persons in France and Spain, 
for further help and materials for his projected " History of the 
Diplomatic Relations of the United States during the War of 
the Revolution. " The mass of documents which he continued 
to gather with this purpose in view, he provided, in his will, 
should be the inheritance of his only son, requesting an ulti- 
mate destination to the Library of Harvard College. This 
destination has been anticipated ; and the documents, subject 
to the conditions of the will, are now in the Library, in a solid 
oaken cabinet surmounted by a bust of Dr. Sparks, the gift of 
Mrs. Sparks. They are either original papers, or from the 
originals, in various Departments of State, at home and abroad ; 
all selected by himself, and some of them copied by his own 
hand. Among them are American, English, French, Dutch, 
and Spanish, diplomatic, official, and private papers of public 
men during our revolutionary period ; Governor Bernard's 
Letter-Books, in thirteen volumes ; eleven volumes of State 
Papers ; miscellaneous papers of early colonial da'tes ; mono- 
graphs on historical subjects and characters ; sketches for 
biographies, &c, &c. Bernard's Papers cost Dr. Sparks sixty 
pounds sterling, and fifteen sets of the Washington volumes, 
besides other expenses. The Spanish Papers were also ob- 
tained at heavy cost, and are of high value as relating to our 
former Spanish possessions, and as being official, as well as 
absolutely unique. When the collector gathered such docu- 
ments through the help of others, and always at his own 
charges, he was careful to give the most minute and discrimi- 
nating directions, and to reiterate cautions as to accuracy. 


In less than a month after his release from the Presidency, 
Dr. Sparks, remaining still in Cambridge, and dwelling, as he 
had done, in his own private house, which continued to be his 
home to the end of his life, made another contribution to pur 
historical literature. He edited for publication, in four octavo 
volumes, a selection of letters which he had long had in his 
hands, made from thousands which had been before him while 
he was preparing " Washington's "Writings " for the press. 
This work is entitled " Correspondence of the American Revo- 
lution : being Letters of eminent Men to George Washington, 
from the Time of his taking command of the Army, to the end of 
his Presidency. Edited from the original manuscripts, by Jared 
Sparks." The value of this work is to be judged and appreci- 
ated by, perhaps, only a limited class of readers. But the con- 
tents of it certainly have interest, and in the editor's opinion — 
and the opinion of no one deserves more consideration — they 
were necessary to fill a gap in our historical publications. Mrs. 
Sparks has presented all the original autographs of this collec- 
tion to the Massachusetts Historical Society, and they are now 
preserved in our Cabinet. 

Dr. Sparks made a third voyage to Europe in 1857, travel- 
ling for health and recreation. With frequent short excursions 
at home, visits to friends, revival of pleasant relations with 
some of the oldest of them who lived at a distance, and an 
attendance upon the periodical meetings of societies of which 
he was a member, and in whose interests he continued a lively 
and efficient concern, he sought strength and cheer for the in- 
dustrious work which still made the business of his life. He 
found occupation at home amid the treasures of his library, 
and in the neighborhood and community around him. He 
sustained with dignity, courtesy, and hospitality all the rela- 
tions of his public and private positions. Strangers and liter- 
ary visitors found him easy of access and an ever agreeable 
friend : modest, frank, sincere, catholic in his principles, with 
convictions of his own. He was constantly called upon for 


advice in literary projects by authors and publishers, and his 
stores of historical manuscripts and printed volumes were 
freely exposed to the use of those who could turn them to good 
account. He was wholly free from the jealousy and selfishness 
which sometimes sit in rigid guardianship, uncommunicative 
and unsympathetic, over materials which would be serviceable 
to the researches of others. His word of approbation was 
worth so much, that when sometimes he had written it in pri- 
vate, with cautious measure, to encourage an author rather 
than to indorse 4iis work, a sentence from his pen would be 
found doing unintended service in a publisher's advertisement. 
I find the following significant postscript to a letter to an 
author, acknowledging the receipt of a book and moderately 
commending it : — 

" P.S. These remarks are intended merely to express my thanks 
and my opinion of the character of the work as far as executed, and 
they should not at any time be used in connection with a publisher's 

The larger portion of the letters of which he has preserved 
copies, written during the last twelve years of his life, are ad- 
dressed to official functionaries, or to those whom he had in 
his employ, about researches and transcriptions of papers for 
his cherished scheme, to be gathered in Holland, Germany, 
France, Spain, and England. He himself, when last abroad 
with his family in 1857, was most industriously employed in 
making personal investigations, and in perfecting arrangements 
to be pursued by his agents. .It is impressive to notice with 
what alacrity and zeal those whom he solicited or employed 
engaged in his service. 

Reference should here be made to an occasion which inci- 
dentally illustrates Dr. Sparks's scrupulous honor in using a 
privilege which was more or less confidential. In the variance 
which arose between our Government and that of Great Brit- 
ain relating to the last of our boundary questions, he had 


opportunity to show how carefully he had limited himself 
within implied conditions. Gov. Everett had temporarily in his 
possession a certain manuscript volume of papers then in the 
charge of Dr. Sparks, intrusted to him by the Marquis of 
Lansdowne. The following is an extract from a letter of Dr. 
Sparks, " To his Excellency Edward Everett," dated April 22, 
1839: — 

" I am convinced that no use whatever should be made of the man- 
uscript volume, in the affair of the boundary question. Although I 
understood from the Marquis of Lansdowne that the correspondence 
was submitted wholly to my judgment and discretion, yet he could 
never have supposed it possible that it would be resorted to in this con- 
troversy, or any other involving national interests. I feel bound in 
honor, therefore, to protect it from such an accident. For this reason 
I must request that you will not take a copy of any part of it, nor men- 
tion its contents with reference to this subject. You will readily per- 
ceive and value the motives which move me to make this request ; I 
wish, also, that you would return the volume." 

In a letter to Mr. Everett, then our Ambassador, dated Jan. 
30, 1843, is the following inclosure, " to be shown to Lord 
Aberdeen " : — 

" During all my researches in the British offices, I neither sought 
for, nor read, a single paper which touched in the remotest degree on 
the boundary question. The courtesy, kindness, and confidence with 
which I was received into the offices, make me extremely anxious to 
remove any impressions that I had sought for such papers." 

It is pleasant to quote from a letter which he wrote to his 
wife, while absent on a visit to the scenes of his youth, dated 
Tolland, Ct., Aug. 17, 1852: — 

" Here I am, where the hills and the valleys, the running brooks and 
even the ancient oaks and elms, revive recollections of my boyhood. 
This afternoon I rode to a remote part of the town to visit the primi- 
tive schoolhouse in which I first taught ' the young idea how to shoot.' 
There it stands without change, answering at all points to the image in 
my mind, — the same little oaken seats for the urchins, the same long 


writing-tables slanting from the walls, — every thing precisely as it was. 
And so it is with the town itself. It appears to have been stationary 
for thirty years, — scarcely an additional house, although a few old ones 
have given place to others of more recent date. But there is every- 
where an appearance of comfort, of moderate but steady thrift, of tran- 
quil contentment, which makes a most favorable impression. The peo- 
ple are changed. A new race has come up. I saw one old friend near 
the schoolhouse, who has always resided there. To-day I accidentally 
met Mr. Willie, a former member of Congress, who resides in this 
place, and who was well acquainted with your father. Before he 
knew of our relationship, he spoke of him in a manner that was most 
gratifying to me." 

Of course, to one who had studied and illustrated the history 
of our country as Dr. Sparks had done, and who, in his knowl- 
edge of the purposes, opinions, and deeds of its patriotic 
founders, we may well say, surpassed all his contemporaries, 
the dissolution and ruin which our civil war threatened to 
bring upon it were matters of fearful foreboding. His intelli- 
gence, candor, and unsectional spirit fitted him to take an es- 
pecially wise and fair view of its origin and its motive. Words 
of his own will best express his thought of it. 

In a letter in reply to one from Earl Stanhope, he writes, 
under date of 22d July, 1862 : — 

" You allude to the war. I have lately returned from a long jour- 
ney to Washington, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Niagara Falls. 
Some of the effects of this disastrous war have thus come under my 
notice ; a war greatly to be deplored, not only by every true patriot, 
but by every friend of humanity. The seeds of discord were sown by 
our ancestors, who first brought the African race to the shores of the 
New World. Negro slavery is the entire cause of this war, stirring up, 
as it has done, the political aspirations of ambitious men, who would 
build upon it a power which should enable them to wield and control 
the destinies of the nation. These men began the war, and then 
talked of victory, or a separate government. As union and obedience 
to the laws are the first elements of the Constitution, the non-slavehold- 
ing States could not yield to such pretentions accompanied by menace 
and force. Hence the conflict. When it will end, time must unfold. 
Happily, a wise and beneficent Providence rules over all." 


During the war Dr. Sparks was anxious, but not faltering ; 
very desirous of victories, and depressed under defeats. Be- 
ing, of course, exempted from liability to draft, he nevertheless 
sent a substitute to the field. His pecuniary contributions for 
patriotic and benevolent purposes were as large and generous 
as his sympathies. With a relieved and grateful heart he wel- 
comed the result of the war, which secured the unity and the 
perpetuity of the nation. 

Dr. Sparks, though now on the limits of lengthened age, and 
impaired in bodily vigor, was still strong and earnest in the 
unabated faculties of his mind. But he had come to the end 
of his appointed span. One week only of confinement and of 
medical oversight intervened between his being abroad and his 
death ; and although this was a week of intense anxiety to his 
family and his closest friends who were with him, it was a 
period of but little suffering and of perfect patience and peace 
with himself. His disease was pneumonia. On Tuesday even- 
ing, March 6, 1866, he went, in company with one of his 
daughters, to a small party. When he came home he said that 
he was cold, and that he had felt cold all the evening. After 
warming himself he retired ; but on the next morning his physi- 
cian was called, who, on the second day following, asked for a 
consultation. His life-long and endeared friends, among whom 
were Mr. Folsom, and Dr. Palfrey his classmate, were with him 
by night and by day. He steadily grew weaker. But there could 
scarcely be a more painless and placid mortal illness. He was 
so pleasant and natural that he did not seem like a sick person, 
except in the prostration of his strength. He could bear the full 
light, and even the outer air. He was gratified by the little gifts 
of love, — flowers and fruits, which bore with them the sympa- 
thies of *so many who had him in their hearts. His quietness, 
and even cheerfulness and freedom from all distress, seemed to 
be a Divine blessing upon his well-spent life. On Sunday even- 
ing his children were around him, and with no consciousness 
that he was giving them his last lesson, he spoke to them in 


words of exceeding sweetness and beauty, closing with the sen- 
tence, — 

" Strive to do good and you will bring it to pass." 

At last, he simply ceased to breathe, on the morning of 
Wednesday, March 14, having nearly completed his seventy- 
seventh year. 

On the Saturday following, at noon, the College tasks being 
suspended, his mortal remains were borne, in a massive, una- 
dorned casket of native oak, to the Appleton Chapel, and there, 
amid a concourse of saddened but loving and revering friends, 
the funeral rites were rendered to the Christian, the scholar, 
the honored head of the University, the patriot historian, the 
helping guide and patron of many who had struggled and 
wrought in the measure of their experience and devotion as he 
had done. " Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright," 
were the words which introduced the reading from the Scrip- 
tures, on that occasion. His remains were interred at Mount 

Dr. Sparks left one son, a student in the College, and three 
daughters, to the care of their mother. 

It is pleasant to contemplate the peaceful close of a well- 
filled and perfected human life. After one has traced its 
course through a generous allotment of years in useful labors 
for enduring results, as contributions to the world's stock of 
wisdom and virtue ; and after the private papers, the secrets 
of struggle and purpose, have been open to his eye, to be read 
only as if in the presence and under the mild watchfulness of 
the writer of them, one may find relief from the strain of mind 
under which he has wrought, by repeating the words, " It is 
finished ! " And in degree, in exact degree, as the Spirit and 
Law of Him whose words by special consecration those are, 
have guided the life of any one who has been self-pledged to 
high tasks and right ways, may the sentence be fitly spoken, 
over our friends and benefactors. Even over the piled-up vol- 


umes which contain the work that he performed, we must say, 
as over the end of the career of every good and great man, 
that he left more of his purposes and his resolutions unaccom- 
plished. And yet those volumes do substantially contain the 
" American History," which Dr. Sparks desired and intended 
to write. The reader of them may trace in them the rise and 
development of this republic. Their pages carry him over the 
whole territory which it originally embraced, and recognize the 
agency of all the leading actors, all the important events, the 
enterprises, discomfitures, and successes which entered into its 
organization and its full establishment. When we consider 
the number and variety of the biographies in his works, both 
those which are full and elaborate, and those which offer only 
condensed sketches of ascertained facts, and remember that 
the writer was scrupulously careful to present accurately the 
opinions and the actions of his subjects, we are tempted to ask, 
what was there for him to do more ? 

There is a judicial dignity and gravity in Dr. Sparks' s style 
which well become the subject and matter of the large major- 
ity of his volumes. He did not aim for a fascinating or a 
rhetorical manner in his compositions. He avoided superla- 
tives and all exaggerations. He was religiously considerate in 
his estimate of the motives, purposes, and characters of men, 
and rigidly conscientious, as well as deliberate, in pronouncing 
his judgment upon perplexed or contested issues involving re- 
proach and honor for public actors. He had a profound sense 
of the responsibility of an historian or a biographer, whose 
pages would stand for authorities, to be followed, trusted, and 
quoted indefinitely onward, — binding him to accuracy, candor, 
and charity, as he put on permanent record assertions or opin- 
ions which he was supposed to have had peculiar, if not exclu- 
sive, means for verifying or knowing. The most expressive 
tribute of confidence and deference paid to Dr. Sparks for the 
qualities just ascribed to him, is found in the fact that might be 
richly illustrated here if space allowed, that in some sharp 


controversies and personal disputes between several later his- 
torians and biographers and those who, as representatives of 
public men, have challenged them for alleged misrepresenta- 
tions of their ancestors, Dr. Sparks has in every case been 
recognized as an impartial arbiter. I have read a pile of pam- 
phlets touching the deserts and fame of Generals Greene, 
Sullivan, and Schuyler, and President Reed, and others, as 
perilled by some judgment of Mr. Bancroft's, brought under 
question by grandsons and friendly champions, and in every 
case have noted how valuable to either side is the judicial esti- 
mate anticipated in the pages of the editor of Washington. 
The phenomenon is certainly of striking signification. 

From a large number of cases illustrating one beautiful and 
noble trait of his mind, which I have met with in examining 
his unpublished papers, I select for mention a few, given as 
answers to correspondents who had questioned him on points 
of historical interest. A Roman Catholic prelate writes to him, 
asking, if he thinks there is warrant for believing that Lafay- 
ette ever uttered the remark so currently attributed to him, 
" That if the liberty of the United States is ever destroyed it will 
be by Romish priests ? " Dr. Sparks thought there was not. 
Other questioners submit to him the following interrogatories : 
Whether he believes that, as was reported, the British officer 
who received Ledyard's sword, at the surrender of Fort Gris- 
wold, at Groton, instantly ran it through the body of his pris- 
oner? Whether Tobias Lear abstracted a portion of the 
correspondence between Washington and Jefferson ? Whether 
the discreditable reports about Jefferson had a real foundation, 
or were calumnies ? Whether the stories about Franklin's 
duplicity, self-seeking, and cross-intriguing at the Court of 
France, should be believed ? To all these questions Dr. Sparks 
replies, not only in the spirit of magnanimity and charity, as if 
wishing to give the accused the benefit of every doubt, with a 
kind defence of them against a possible injustice, but also with 
a ready will to produce reasons and arguments in grateful vin- 


dication of them. He knew well the difference and the dis- 
tance between rumors, slanders, and misleading traditions, with 
the easy terms through which they get birth and currency, and 
the well-certified truths of history. Where there was occasion 
for using a severe epithet, he would select never the worst. 
But he never used the opprobrious adjectives. The following 
beautiful sentence I quote from one of his letters to a historical 
writer, whose work he was commending : — 

" Truth is so noble and persuasive a quality in historical composi- 
tions, that no pains should be spared to preserve it from the least 
shadow or tint which can impair its dignity or tarnish its beauty." 

Dr. Sparks paid a deferential regard to " the dignity of his- 
tory," and with him that phrase signified much. Probably he 
has used it in some of his printed volumes ; but it was often 
on his lips, and was always a recognized canon in his mind 
and taste. Soberness and discrimination characterize his mode 
of dealing with the most exciting and perplexed matters which 
he had to relate, or on which he was called to pass judgment. 
In reading his letters, not only on private and personal, but on 
public and important historical, subjects, I have met with many 
utterances of vivacity, and even of humor, which he did not 
allow to appear on the printed page. He must often have had 
in his mind the fable which reminds the writer, as well as the 
reader, of history, that very much allowance is to be made for 
the fact, that it is the man, and not the lion, that paints the 
picture of the fight between them. In a letter to the editor of 
the journal of one of the loyalists in the Revolutionary War, 
he writes as follows : - 

" In all wars, particularly in civil wars, there are outrages on both 
sides ; and the conquering party tells its story in its own way, conceal- 
ing or excusing its own faults, and exaggerating those of its opponents. 
Witness the accounts which the Romans have given of the Car- 
thaginians, and the manner in which our writers have described the 
Indian wars. If Hannibal or Sassacus had written histories, we should 
now see important portions of history under a different aspect." 



While he was filling his historical Professorship, Dr. Sparks 
allowed himself this lively strain in a letter to President Ever- 
ett, approving warmly his Inauguration Address : — 

" A strange fancy has got into the heads of men, that change is 
progress ; innovation, improvement ; that a road through a labyrinth is 
shorter than a straight one across a plain, open country ; that confusion 
is method ; that it is easier to stumble among molehills than to climb 
steadily and patiently up the mountain's side. In short, I have no 
sympathy with ' tabular views,' ' voluntary studies,' or with ponderous 
volumes of figures, called ' scales of merit.' I do not believe a young 
man is so well qualified for his station in life, be it what it may, by a 
fragmentary education as by a complete one. He is like a portico 
with half the columns broken, or a statue with an arm gone and 
the head fractured. Nor do I believe that he is a mathematical in- 
strument, or a machine with wheels and cogs, whose progress in study 
is to be measured on a dial-plate." 

Dr. Sparks subsisted through his whole life, after his boy- 
hood, upon what he acquired by his own mental and literary 
labors. Without even a thought for pecuniary profit, or a 
moment's regard for any rewarding result other than that of 
a noble and laborious task faithfully performed, he might still 
find satisfaction in realizing that his arduous and prolonged 
toil, with a patient waiting for deferred fruits, had furnished 
him competence as well as a livelihood. Of course he had to 
make large outlays for his materials. More than a hundred 
thousand dollars was spent in bringing out his " Washington's 
Writings." He closes all his directions and requests to those 
who were gathering and copying papers for him, with most 
generous allowance for all charges, and his provisions for 
punctual remittances were scrupulous. He had also a ready, 
though secret, repository, from which he drew for a varied 
benevolence, public and private, to advance high interests, to 
foster humble merit, to cheer the straits of struggling students. 

He had a noble person, well proportioned, massive, but not 
heavy ; a head of size, with an expanded and thoughtful brow, 
with quiet eyes, gentle features, and an expression of delicate 


refinement that became the high-toned gentleman and the con- 
sistent Christian. A shade of pensiveness, occasionally deep- 
ening into sadness, and betokening some introspective working 
of his thought or purpose, as engaged with profound themes 
or large mysteries, was a marked aspect of his, alike in public 
and in private. He had had rare privileges of intercourse with 
eminent and accomplished men and women, at home and 
abroad ; and in that intercourse he was ever at ease, never 
recognizing or yielding to assumption. He drew to himself 
everywhere a sincere respect, and generally a strong affection. 
He had great tenderness of feeling. He indulged a spirit of 
playfulness with the young, and could answer his correspond- 
ents of the other sex with becoming sentiments and strains, 
whether of graceful comment or of smart pleasantry. It may 
well be left to those who knew him, or only read of him, to 
judge how fond and devoted and helpful he was in the scenes 
of the household and in the privacies of domestic life. His 
affections for those nearest him were gentle and strong. In 
the providential allotments of life, he had a large share of hap- 

In a letter written by him, in reply to one who seems to have 
sought from him a sketch of his life, as well as help in the 
selection of some extracts from his writings, for a literary 
compend, I find this sentence : "As to the events of my life, 
they are not such as can be of the least importance to the 
public, except as they appear in the results of my literary 
labors." May we not add to this modest self-estimate, that 
there are other " results " of his life in the noble and fruitful 
influences wrought by his character ? 

The extensive circulation of the works written or edited by 
Dr. Sparks, and the character of their themes and subjects, 
gave him a wide fame. Literary and learned associations, at 
home and abroad, readily proffered him their honors, making 
him either a resident or an honorary or corresponding member, 
and sending him their diplomas. I cannot find from his 


papers, in which he records such complimentary favors, that 
he rejected in a single instance any of these proffered courtesies. 
In every case he would appear to have accepted a membership 
of every such society when offered to him, though many of 
them, scattered over our whole country, are so obscure or local 
in their character, that it is rather amusing to think of him as 
an associate with all the men and women that composed them. 
His kindliness of spirit, his appreciation of any well-meant 
tribute, and his hearty interest in fostering all efforts for cul- 
ture, however modest, disposed him readily to yield his name 
for all such worthy uses. In his letters accepting membership 
of very many miscellaneous societies over our own country, 
after returning his thanks, approving their design, and wishing 
for their prosperity, — dropping sometimes valuable hints to 
direct inquiry or action, — he generally closes by intimating 
that his distance from their centres, and inability to attend 
their meetings, will make him " an unprofitable member." 

Among the diplomas preserved on his files, besides those 
from the Colleges, the following, with their dates, indicate his 
election to the Massachusetts Historical Society, in 1826 ; to 
the Pennsylvania Historical Society, in 1834; to the American 
Philosophical Society, in 1837 ; as a " Membre Fondateur de la 
Societe Roy ale des Antiquaires du Nord," at Copenhagen, 
in 1837 ; to the Antiquarian Society of Athens, in 1838 ; to 
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 1838 ; to the 
Historical and Geographical Society of Brazil, in 1839 ; to 
The Scientific and Literary Society of Palermo, in 1844 ; 
to the Historical Society of Connecticut, in 1844 ; to the Prus- 
sian Royal Academy of Sciences at Berlin, in 1845 ; to the 
Philosophical and Historical Society of Missouri, in 1848 ; 
to the Royal Academy of Sciences at Turin, in 1849 ; to the 
Society of Antiquarians at London, in 1854 ; to the Historical 
Society of New Mexico, and the Vermont Historical Society, 
in 1860. He was also a member r and, at the time of his 
decease, the Corresponding Secretary, of the American Anti- 
quarian Society. 


A special meeting of the last-named Society was held at 
Worcester, two days after the decease of Dr. Sparks, at which 
the President, the Hon. Stephen Salisbury, the Rev. Dr. Hill, 
Judge Barton, and Mr. S. F. Haven, speaking to resolutions of 
most affectionate and discriminating eulogiums of the departed, 
paid him the warmest tributes of their respect and admiration. 

Dr. Sparks was also an honored member of the Maryland 
Historical Society (1844). By request of the Society, its 
President, Brantz Mayer, Esq., prepared and read before 
its annual meeting, Feb. 7, 1867, a memoir of their cherished 
associate, which, while glowing with the warmth of a long- 
existing and ardent personal friendship, gives likewise a mas- 
terly sketch of the literary life and works, and of the character 
of its subject. 

Stuart's portrait of Mr. Sparks was taken in 1827-8, and 
left unfinished on account of the latter's absence in Europe. 
" But Stuart hated to finish any thing." 

The bust by Persico was taken by the artist, at his own 
prompting, in December, 1834. 

The bust by Powers has been already referred to as pro- 
cured by the students graduating under his Presidency of the 

There are portraits by Peale, Rand, Healy, and Alexander, 
beside various others, and several miniatures. 

1868.] JUNE MEETING. 311 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, June 11, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; 
Colonel Aspinwall in the chair. 

The Secretary read the record of the last meeting. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts ; the Town of Groton ; the 
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands; 
the Essex Institute ; the Massachusetts Sabbath-school 
and Publication Society ; the Massachusetts Society for 
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ; the New-England 
Loyal Publication Society ; the Rhode-Island Numis- 
matic Association ; the State Historical Society of Iowa ; 
the Trustees of the Peabody Institute ; the Editors of 
the " Advocate " ; the Editor of the " American Pub- 
lisher and Bookseller " ; the Publisher of the " Book 
Buyer " ; the Publishers of the " Galaxy " ; John Ap- 
pleton, M.D. ; Mr. Joseph Ballard ; Mr. C. B. Brigham ; 
Rev. Solon W. Bush ; Mr. Horace P. Chandler ; Wil- 
liam Endicott, Jr., Esq. ; George Gibbs, Esq. ; Elbridge 
H. Goss, Esq. ; Charles H. Hart, Esq. ; Professor Eben. 
N. Horsford ; Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; Professor 
Alpheus S. Packard ; Nathaniel Paine, Esq. ; Mr. J. 
S. Pike ; Mrs. W. B. Rogers ; Philip H. Sears, Esq. ; 
Hon. Charles Sumner; J. B. Trembley, M.D.; Rev. 
Frederic A. Whitney ; Hon. Henry Wilson ; and from 
Messrs. Amory, W. G. Brooks, Denny, Ellis, Green, 
E. E. Hale, Lawrence, C. Bobbins, and Smith, of the 


He called special attention to some volumes placed 
upon the table, consisting of narratives relating to the 
late war, which had been presented by our associate, 
Mr. Lawrence. 

The Librarian also read a letter from Mr. D. W. Salis- 
bury, in which he stated, that, by order of the Building 
Committee of the u First Church," he had sent to the 
Society photographs of buildings which had been occu- 
pied by that religious association ; viz., one from a pic- 
ture of the u Old Brick," so called, which stood on the 
present site of " Joy's Building," on Washington Street, 
and was taken down in 1807 ; the other represents 
the building on Chauncy Street, which is now in pro- 
cess of demolition. 

The thanks of the Society were ordered to be returned 
for these two valuable photographs presented to the 

The Cabinet-keeper reported a gift of an engraved 
portrait of the Rev. Peter Whitney, — the author of 
" The History of the County of Worcester^" — by the 
Rev. F. A. Whitney. 

Colonel Aspinwall spoke of the death of our distin- 
guished associate, Ex-Governor Levi Lincoln, and called 
on Professor Washburn to address the meeting. 

Professor Washburn offered the following resolutions, 
and accompanied the reading of them with impressive 
and eloquent remarks on the character of the de- 
ceased : — 

Resolved, That the Massachusetts Historical Society, in view of the 
death of their late lamented associate, the Hon. Levi Lincoln, would 
here express their profound respect for his character as a public magis- 
trate, as a respected citizen, and as a man of eminently pure life. 


Resolved, That the President be requested to appoint some member 
to prepare a memoir of Ex-Governor Lincoln for the Society's Pro- 

Resolved, That these Resolutions be communicated by the Secretary 
to the family of the deceased. 

Messrs. Brigham, Lothrop, and Ellis also addressed 
the meeting. 

Professor Washburn was appointed to prepare the 
memoir of Ex-Governor Lincoln for the Proceedings. 

The Recording Secretary announced intelligence from 
the President of the Society, and read the following ex- 
tracts from a recent letter from him : — 

Paris, 22nd May, 1868. 

My dear Mr. Deane, — Your favor of the 5th instant reached 
me on my arrival here yesterday. We left Florence on the 15th, 
passed a quiet Sunday at Turin, and came over Mt. Cenis on Monday 
and Tuesday. At Florence, I saw the bust of Mr. Peabody, by 
Powers. It is really very fine, and of exquisite marble. I have 
already told you, I believe, that it is destined for our Dowse Library . # 

I shall be at home, God willing, in season for the December meeting, 
if not for those of October and November. The printed report of the 
Treasurer, with the notice of the Annual Meeting, reached me at 
Florence. I am greatly obliged and honored by the re-election to the 
Presidency, and shall endeavor to make up for my long absence by a 
punctual presence and an earnest co-operation in the future. 

Mr. Motley came along from Chambery to Macon in the same train 
with us, and is now in Paris. He proposes being at home in July. 

I spent an hour with General Dix this morning, but obtained no 

further news from America than the papers had already told me. 

We do not know whether President Johnson was acquitted by one 

vote finally, or whether his conviction is only postponed. But I must 

close, or lose the mail. 

In haste, yours sincerely, 

Robert C. Winthrop. 
Charles Deane, Esq. 

* This admirable bust has been presented to the Historical Society, and is now 
in the " Dowse Library." — Eds. 




A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, July 9, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; 
Colonel Aspinwall, Vice-President, in the chair. 

The Recording Secretary read the record of the last 

The Librarian announced donations from the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts ; the Boston Society of 
Natural History ; the Chamber of Commerce of the 
State of New York ; the Institute of 1770, of Harvard 
College ; the Library of Congress ; the Long-Island His- 
torical Society; the Mercantile-Library Association of 
San Francisco ; the New-England Historic-Genealogical 
Society ; the New-Hampshire Historical Society ; the 
Peabody Institute of Baltimore ; the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution ; the Editors of the " Advocate " ; the Publishers 
of the u Book Buyer " ; Mr. Nicholas A. Apollonio ; 
John Appleton, M.D. ; William T. Blodgett, Esq. ; 
Charles H. S. Davis, M.D.; John W. Dean, Esq.; 
George W. Fahnestock, Esq. ; Martyn Paine, M.D. ; 
William S. Peabody, Esq. ; Samuel Sewall, Esq. ; Pro- 
fessor Jeffries Wyman ; and from Messrs. Deane, Denny, 
Ellis, Green, Latham, Lawrence, C. Robbins, Sibley, and 
Wheatland, of the Society. 

The list of donations included a copy of Vol. I. of 
" The Herald of Gospel Liberty," forwarded to the So- 
ciety by Mr. N. A. Apollonio, of Boston, accompanied 
by a letter from him. On the inside of the cover is the 
following memorandum, in the handwriting of Mr. Apol- 

1868.] JULY MEETING. 315 

lonio : " The Herald of Gospel Liberty was the first 
Religious Newspaper ever published. The first volume 
was issued in 1808, under the joint proprietorship of 
Rev. Elias Smith and the late Hon. Daniel P. Drown, 
of Portsmouth. This volume is presented to the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society, in accordance with the desire 
of Mr. Drown, expressed before his decease, in 1863." 

The Corresponding Secretary read letters of accept- 
ance from John Winter Jones, F.S.A., Richard Henry 
Major, F.S.A., and John Gough Nichols, F.S.A., of Lon- 
don, who had been elected Corresponding Members. 

The Chairman read a letter from Mr. Folsorn, ad- 
dressed to Mr. Deane, as Chairman of the Committee 
on the Publication of the Proceedings, stating that he 
felt compelled, by the press of other engagements, to 
resign his p>lace as an associate member of that Com- 

Whereupon, on motion of Mr. Dea>e, it was — 

Voted. That the thanks of the Society be presented 
to Mr. Folsorn for the valuable services he has rendered 
the Society, as a member of the Committee on the 
Publication of the Proceedings, for the past two years 
and a half. 

Mr. Smith was appointed a member of the Committee 
to succeed Mr. Folsorn. 

The Chairman read a letter from Rev. I. P. Lang- 
worthy, Librarian of the American Congregational As- 
sociation, written in behalf of the Directors, soliciting 
a number of volumes of this Society's publications to 
supply the wants in their Library. 

Voted, To refer the above communication to the 
Standing Committee. 


Jeffries Wyman, M.D., of Cambridge, was elected a 
Eesident Member. 

Mr. Folsom communicated the following original let- 
ter of Benjamin Franklin, addressed to his wife. The 
letter was presented to the Society through Mr. Folsom 
by the heirs of our late associate, Joseph E. Worces- 
ter, LL.D.: — 

Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin. 

London, Nov. 2, 1767, 
New England Coffeehouse. 

My dear Child, — Calling here this Evening I learn that a Ship 
is just going to New York, the Bag to be taken away in half an hour. 
I have only time to assure you that I have been extreamly hearty & 
well ever since my Return from France, the Complaints I had before 
I went on that Tour, being entirely dissipated, and fresh Strength & 
Activity, the Effects of Exercise & Change of Air, have taken their 
Place. I hope this will find you & Sally and all we love or that 
love us, & even those that don't, as well as I am. I am told a Ship 
is come in this Day from Philadelphia, and I hasten home in hopes 
of finding some of your dear Letters. I am as ever, my dear Debby, 
Your affectionate Husband, 

B. Franklin. 

Dr. Ellis made some remarks relative to the Diary of 
Judge Sewall, now in the possession of the family of the 
late Rev. Samuel Sewall, of Burlington, Mass. ; it being 
understood that the family wish to dispose of it. On his 
motion, a committee of three, consisting of Dr. Ellis, 
Mr. W. G. Brooks, and Dr. Walker, was appointed to 
confer with the owners of this Diary, with a view of 
securing it for the Library of this Society. 

The Recording Secretary said that he felt sure the 
Society would be glad to hear from the President, Mr. 
Winthrop ; and he should take the liberty to read por- 


tions of some letters received from him, which, though 
unofficial, he was confident would have an interest for 
the members: — 

Paris, 12th June, 1868. 

Dear Mr. Deane, — Yours of the 23d ult. was duly welcomed. . . . 

I have just returned from a call on Madame Marcou. She was 
the grand-daughter of our founder, Dr. Belknap, you know, and gave 
us the fine portrait of her grandfather. 

Mignet, the historian, spent an hour with me on the day before 
yesterday. He has recovered entirely from the illness under which 
he was suffering when I left Paris, in December. Count Circourt 
breakfasted with me last Monday, to meet Motley. Circourt's in- 
formation and memory are wonderful. I wish I could persuade him 
to run over and see America for himself; but he knows more about 
it already than many of us who have lived there all our lives. I have 
conceived a much higher impression of the literary men of France 
than I have had heretofore. There is a marvellous intellectual 
activity here ; and nowhere, certainly, is there more of brilliant 
and powerful eloquence. I have on my table at this moment the 
JEloge upon Faraday, by M. Dumas ; the Eloge upon Ingres (an 
eminent French painter), by M. Beule ; and the discourses of Jules 
Favre and M. de Remusat, on Victor Cousin, — -all of which are 
admirable. They were sent to me by friends, or I should not have 
heard of them. Our Society is sometimes reproached for eulogizing 
its deceased members too much. But the Institute make a systematic 
business of commemorating their dead, and their eulogies are far more 
elaborate than ours. 


The Emperor has gone to Fontainebleau, where, the papers say, he 
is to devote a fortnight to the final revision of his third volume of 
Julius Caesar. Thus the literature of France has the Imperial exam- 
ple as well as the Imperial patronage. The Julius Caesar is ad- 
mitted to have a good deal of valuable matter in it, I believe. I had 
a pleasant presentation to the Emperor the other night at one of the 
Empress's " Petits Lundis." He gave me an occasion to mention 
the late Joshua Bates, and spoke of him himself in the most agree- 
able manner. But I must stop short, as this is the last day of the 
mail, and almost the last hour. . . . 

Yours sincerely, 

Robert C. WinthRop. 


London, 27 June, 1868. 

Dear Mr. Deane, — Yours of the 29th ult. reached me duly. 
I have been ten days in London, but have not yet succeeded in finding 
a morning for the British Museum. The heat has been excessive, 
and we are in the very whirl of the London season. Every day seems 
to bring its attractions and engrossments. On one day I was at the 
Sydenham Palace, listening to Handel's incomparable choruses (Israel 
in Egypt), with 4,000 singers and 500 instrumental performers. 
Another day I was at Lord Stanley's grand banquet, on the opening of 
the new Foreign Office. Last night and the night before I was in the 
House of Lords, hearing the great debate on the Irish Church. 
The House was full, the Peers all in their seats, from the Prince of 
Wales and the Duke of Cambridge downwards, and the Bishops in 
full force, in their robes. The Bishop of London made a most im- 
pressive and admirable speech about midnight. I do not know how 
our public men, clerical or lay, young or old, would bear the long 
sessions and late hours of the British Parliament. I went to St. 
Paul's with Dean Milman last Sunday, and am going to Westminster 
Abbey with Dean Stanley (who is to preach) to-morrow. Last 
evening I dined with Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, who was the British 
Minister at Washington, as Mr. Stratford Canning, while John Quincy 
Adams was Secretary of State, 'nearly or quite fifty years ago. He is 
erect and vigorous still, — the veteran diplomatist of England. But 
all these social details are poor things to fill up a letter. 

I saw Mr. Adams before he left London to sail from Queenstown 
to-morrow. He was in the same hotel with me, and seemed very 
well. I wish I were in the way of uniting in his reception. He 
has left a most enviable impression in England. Motley, too, goes 
home in the same steamer, and you will soon see them both. Long- 
fellow arrives here to-night, and Story is under the same roof with me 
already. Upon the whole, our country will have had rather a bril- 
liant representation here this spring. Everybody is eager to welcome 
Longfellow, and he will be run down with attentions. 

The death of our venerable friend, Governor Lincoln, has doubtless 
been duly noticed. He had become an historical character, and was 
every way worthy of commemoration. I should most gladly have borne 
testimony to his purity and patriotism, and his eminent public services. 
But there have been enough to do so. 

Have I told you that I saw in Paris a William Bradford, the lineal 
descendant of the old Governor whom you have done so much to 

1868.] AUGUST MEETING. 319 

illustrate ? He is a boy yet, getting his education in Paris, where his 
mother has been residing since the Rebellion broke out. His father 
is an eminent lawyer in New Orleans, and an associate of mine on the 
Peabody Southern Education Trust. 

By the way* Lord Stratford de Redcliffe alluded to having seen the 
old Bradford manuscript at Fulham, and the American gentleman who 
was examining it. It must have been you.* The good bishop invited 
me to dine there to-day, but I had a previous engagement. I am 
going down to his wife's garden-party next Saturday, and may thus see 
the Bradford manuscript on the Ath of July. We shall be running 
away from London soon afterwards, to spend some quiet weeks in the 
country, and then I may have leisure for a decent letter. Excuse this 
hurried, I had better have written it horrid, scrawl. Kindest remem- 
brances to the brethren. Yours sincerely, 

Robert C. Winthrop. 
Charles Deane, Esq. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, August 13, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; 
Colonel Aspinwall, Vice-President, in the chair. 

The Secretary read the record of the last meeting. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society; the Bureau of Eefugees, 
Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands ; the Essex Institute ; 
the General Theological Library ; the Massachusetts 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; the 
Minnesota Historical Society; the New-England Loyal 
Publication Society ; La Societe des Antiquaires Ehenans 
a Bonn ; the State Historical Society of Iowa ; the Trus- 
tees of the Public Library of the City of Boston ; the 

* See "Proceedings" for August, 1866, p. 345. —Eds. 


Union Republican Congressional Committee ; the Edi- 
tors of the " Advocate " ; the Proprietors of the " Her- 
aldic Journal " ; the Publishers of the " Book Buyer " ; 
the Publishers of the " Cornhill Monthly and Literary 
Recorder" ; John Appleton, M.D. ; Mr. A. S. Bickmore; 
Joshua P. Converse, Esq. ; Franklin B. Dexter, Esq. ; 
Capt. William F. Goodwin, U.S.A. ; Adj. Gen. Natl 
Head, of New-Hampshire ; Edward Jarvis, M.D. ; Ben- 
jamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; Mr. James S. Loring ; Adj. 
Gen. Selden E. Marvin, of New- York ; Mr. William T. 
R. Marvin ; Mr. Edward D. Neill ; Mr. Joseph Sabin ; 
Hon. William Schouler ; Rev. Christopher T. Thayer ; 
and from Messrs. Bartlet, Denny, Green, Hudson, Quin- 
cy, C. Robbins, and Whitmore, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a communication 
from the Executive Committee of the "Virginia. Histor- 
ical and Philosophical Society," dated 27th June, 1868, 
acknowledging the books, and the manuscript of " Ba- 
con's and Ingram's Rebellion," sent by this Society to 
the Virginia Society in November last. Resolutions of 
thanks to this Society were subjoined. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter of accept- 
ance, from Prof. Jeffries Wyman, of Cambridge. 

An application from our associate, Mr. Quint, for 
leave to -take a photographic copy of the portrait of 
Gov. John Wentworth, in the Society's Library, was 
referred to the Standing Committee. 

A letter was read from Mr. W. T. R. Marvin, of 
Boston, inclosing for the Society's Library a manuscript 
copy of a tract, printed in 1.671, entitled "A Briefe 
Narrative of the Progress of the Gospel amongst the 


Indians in New England, in the year 1670," &c. By 
the Rev. John Eliot. Mr. Marvin stated that the trans- 
cript was made for him, from the rare original tract in 
the British Museum, and from this he had recently 
reprinted a small edition.* 

The thanks of the Society were ordered for the gift. 

The Chairman said he believed that Mr. Deane had 
a communication to make to the Society. 

Mr. Deane said, that, while the " Report on the Hutchinson 
Papers" was passing through the press, a few weeks since, as 
part of the volume of " Proceedings," there was placed in 
his hands by the Assistant Librarian, Dr. Appleton, a memoran- 
dum, from the archives of the Society, in the handwriting of 
Dr. Belknap, to which he wished to call the attention of the 
members. The memorandum was labelled on the outside, 
also in Dr. Belknap's hand, " Mss., list of, in the Hist. Cab- 
inet — 1792," and purports to be an inventory, covering about 
three and a half small quarto pages, of manuscripts (num- 
bered from " 1 " to " 45 ") in the library or " cabinet " of the 
Society at that early period. The first article in the catalogue 
is " Originals of Hutchinson's Collection." Number " 41 " 
is " Hubbard's History," which is also referred to in the Re- 
port as being in the possession of the Society in 1791. 

By " Originals of Hutchinson's Collection," Mr. Deane 
supposed, was meant the originals of the volume published 
by Hutchinson in 1769, entitled, " A Collection of Original 
Papers," &c, of which the three volumes in the Society's 
cabinet, recently claimed by the Commonwealth, are largely 

This memorandum is significant, inasmuch as it confirms 
the position taken in the " Report on the Hutchinson Papers," 

* A copy of this tract, in the original edition, is also in the library of Mr. J. C. 
Brown, of Providence. — Eds. 



that the Society was in possession of some of the papers of 
Governor Hutchinson at an early period in its history.* 

We must not suppose that Dr. Belknap intended to include 
in his statement all the originals of Hutchinson's printed vol- 
ume, as not one-half of these are now in the possession of the 
Society, and probably never were. Dr. Belknap's designation, 
doubtless, covered other papers also, which were once in Hutch- 
inson's possession, but were not included in the printed 
" Collection." Some may have been the originals of those 
published in the appendix to his " History." Many of the 
papers are supposed to have been received by the Society in a 
very bad condition, and were probably not arranged or collated 
at the time ; and when, thirty years after (in April, 1822), 
Mr. Benj. R. Nichols was, by a vote of the Society, " requested 
to cause the whole or a part, at his discretion, of the Hutchin- 
son papers to be bound," he probably included in his selection 
such papers in the Society's possession, from whatever sources 
obtained, as he deemed appropriate for the collection then 
formed by him, which consists of the three volumes referred 
to, labelled " Hutchinson Papers." One or two important 
manuscripts, we know, had been previously bound with another 
collection, by Mr. Alden ; others remained loose in the book- 
cases till as late as 1838, when the Librarian, Dr. Harris, 
caused these also to be placed in volumes. 

Mr. Deane then read the list of manuscripts from the mem- 
orandum of Dr. Belknap, and said it was not perfectly clear 
to his mind for what purpose it had been drawn up, as he 
thought it could hardly represent all the manuscripts in the 
possession of the Society in 1792. The first volume of the 
" Collections " was printed during this year, and embraced 
many documents, the originals of some of which are now in 
the Society's Cabinet, but are not included in Dr. Belknap's 
list. If this list, when drawn up, represented all the manu- 
scripts then in the cabinet, it must have been written in the 

* See ante, p. 126, note. — Eds. 

1868.] dr. Belknap's list op manuscripts. 323 

early part of the year, before the additions referred to were 
made to the collection. The list might be regarded as a selec- 
tion of manuscripts to be use& as a guide to the publishing 
committee, were it not evident that Dr. Belknap would not think 
of reprinting the papers already published by Hutchinson. 

Many of the manuscripts enumerated in this list — which 
is here subjoined — are now in the Society's possession. Some 
of them were brief papers, written perhaps at the suggestion 
of Dr. Belknap for publication, and probably never came back 
from the printing-office. 

This memorandum was discovered two or three years ago, 
between the covers of an old donation book, which contained 
other lists of articles in the Cabinet. It was then filed away 
by Dr. Appleton, and placed in his desk, among similar papers 
belonging to his department ; and only recently was it criti- 
cally examined. Mr. Deane thought he had noticed this 
memorandum some years since in one of the apartments of 
the Cabinet. 

Dr. Belknap's List of Manuscripts in the Cabinet of the Historical 

Society, in 1792. 

Mss. PAPERS.* 

1. Originals of Hutchinsons Collection. 

2. List of Inhabitants Mass. Bay, 1764-1765. 

3. State of the Whale fisheries of Nantucket, 

& Sperme City candles made in Massachusetts. 

4. Dwelling houses in Boston, 1789. 

5. Dwelling houses of the principal towns in the United States f 

from enumeration, 1786. 

7. f Inhabitants of the State of New York, 1756, 1771, 1786, 1790. 

8. List of the boys who entered & left the S. Grammar School 

from 1734-1774. 

9. Succession of the Governors of Nova Scotia from 1720-1782. 

10. A true account of Gen. Montgomery's death & burial in Quebec. 

11. Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec, 1784. 

* Dr. Belknap's use here of the plural form, "Mss.," for "manuscript," may have 
been an inadvertence, though he elsewhere makes a similar use of it; and, some 
writers at this day use the abbreviation in its plural form to express the singular 
noun. — C. D. t An error in the enumeration. —Eds. 


12. A brief State of the Province of Quebec. 

13. Value of the British property in Canada — 1787. 

14. French Governors of Canada from 1725. 

15. British Governors „ „ „ 1759. 

16. Account of the value of exports from Quebec, 1786. 

„ „ „ „ Imports „ „ 1786. 

1 7. Comparative view of exports from & imports to Canada in four 

years, beginning 1783. 

18. Exports from Quebec, 1787. 

19. Ditto, 88. 

20. Inhabitants of each town, County Essex, 16 August, 1790. 

21. Survey of the County Middlesex, by families. 

22. A general Survey of the population of the late province, Massa- 

chusetts, by towns. 

23. Correspondence between Gov: Shirley & Wentworth, 1742-1753. 

24. Correspondence between Gov. Shirley and Gen 1 Peperell, 


25. Correspondence between Peperell & Warren during the Cam- 

paign at Louisburgh, 1745. 

26. Between P. & W. & the British Ministry, 45. 46. 47. 

27. Between Peperell & many persons of distinction in various 

parts of America, 45. 46. 47. 

28. Between Gov. Wentworth and the British Ministry, 1750-60. 

29. Between the Secretary of New H. and their provincial Agent 

in Eng. 1734-60. 

30. Papers relative to the controversy between Peter Livius & 

Governor Wentworth, 1773. 

31. Papers relative to the change of Government in N. Hamp- 

shire, 1775. 

32. Correspondence of the Sons of Liberty from 1766-71. 

33. Mss Journals in the last & present Century. 

34. Collection of Papers relative to Nova. Scotia from 1720-1747. 

35. A volume bound, containing Heads of old Sermons preached 

1636, by M r Cotton & others, small Uo bound. 

36. Some Memoirs for the Continuation of the history of the 

troubles from the Indians &c, 1726. 

37. Memoirs of the Settlement of Nantucket. 

38. Letters from Hon. R. Boyle, M r Flamstead, &c. to D r Avery, 

of Boston, M r Brattle, of Cambridge &c. 

39. Commission of S ir Edmund Andros. 

40. Preface to Hubbards history. 

1868.] AUGUST MEETING. 325 

41. Hubbards history. 

42. Governor Belchers Letters in several vols, folio. 

43. A Collection of Mss — proceedings of Correspondence of sev- 

eral towns in 1774-1775. 

44. Common place book of J. Dalrymple, Esq. 1725. 

45. Abridgment of Parliamentary Speeches, 1728 [1628?]. 
[Indorsed, or labelled] — Mss., list of, in the Hist. Cabinet — 1792. 

Dr. Bobbins placed upon the table a copy of a new 
volume of "Collections" (Vol. VIII., of the Fourth 
Series) consisting of " Mather Papers," from the originals 
belonging to the Prince Collection. 

Mr. Smith spoke of the great value of this collection 
of papers, and of the admirable manner in which they 
had been edited ; and on his motion it was — 

Voted, That the thanks of the Society be expressed 
to Dr. Bobbins, the Chairman of the Committee on the 
publication of the " Mather Papers," and to his associ- 
ates, for their valuable services in editing the volume 
placed upon the table this morning. 

The Chairman, Col. Aspinwall, spoke of a copy of 
the History of Lexington, just presented to the Society 
by the author, our associate, Mr. Hudson, for which the 
thanks of the Society were returned. 

Mr. Deane exhibited a copy of the Almanac of Samuel 
Danforth, for the year 1649, printed at Cambridge, 
Mass., which had formerly belonged to Samuel Haugh, 
and contained a few manuscript memoranda, from his 
pen. These Mr. Deane had caused to be transcribed, 
and now communicated to the Society. A printed 
" Chronological Table of some few Memorable Occur- 
rences," was appended to the Almanac. These had also 
been copied, and were likewise communicated. This 
Almanac now belongs to Mr. J. K. Wiggin, of Boston. 


In reading from this Chronological Table (which, Mr. 
Deane said, probably contained little which might not 
be found elsewhere), he called attention to the singular 
error in the first item on the list, which stated that the 
patent of Massachusetts was granted by Parliament. 

Memoranda by Samuel Haugh, in an Almanac by Samuel Danforth, 
for the year 1649. 
[March] 11 day Quad, u 

. 25 day Easter day 1660. 

26 Day M r John Winthrop Gov r dyed. 

[May] 1 day Capt. Cromwell arived. 
[2] M r Jo: Endecot chose Governo 1 . 
[15] Moon Ecclipsed totally, followed with much Rain & 
wet weather a great while after. 

[June 11] From Sunrise to Sunset is 15 houres Sixe Minutes. 
22 mo : \* >2 m ©'3. 
[July] 22 th day ) r s Id. 

[August] 24 M r Shepherd dyed. 
28 day T W {, so. 

[September] 8 day My bricks to be ready. 

[16] I writ answers to Cos: Joh") ^ „ , 

[19] w began to write again to M* James ffarewell. 
[25] I rec d a letter from M r Jo: Askham. 

[October] 5 day. My two roomes to be Plaistered. 
I wrote to M r John Askha. 
18 day all to be Plaistred. 
20 day my Chimneys to be vp. 
20 day 13 ~)As. 
[November 9] Moone Ecclipsed a quarter past . . . night. 
Rained 9 th day at noone (s). 

[January 31] Snew much 

[February 2] Candlem. vel Purif. Mariae. 
Nunc Sol splendescit 
Maria purificante : 
An. major Glacies post 
festd quam fuit ante ? 




A Printed Table appended to the Almanac of Danforth. 

M d c x L I x. 



The Governour and Assistants arrived, bringing wt them 
the Patent, which was graunted to this Colonie 
[viz : Massachusets] by y e Honourable Parliament 
holden anno 1628. 

Isaac Johnson Esq : one of our Magistrates, a Gentle- 
man eminent for piety & virtue, deceased. 

Seasonable supplyes of provisions from England, in the 
time of great scarcity. 

A great mortaiitie amongst the Indians by the small 
pox, wherof Chickatabut Sachem of Naponset dyed, 
as also John & James Sagamores. 

Mr Samuel Skelton, Pastor to the Church at Salem, 

A great Hiracane, wherin the great Hope of 400 tun 
was driven on shore at Mr. Haughs. 

Mr John Oldham murdered in his Bark by y e Indians 
of Block-Island, who were surprized in y e same 
bark by John Gallop, brought thither against his 

A treaty & peace concluded with Miantonimoh. 

The massacre at Wethersfield by the Pequots. 

Mistick Fort taken and the Pequots slain and burnt in 
it by the English of y e River. 

Block-Island subdued and made tributary. 

The first Synod at Cambridge. 

Mrs. Hutchinson & her errors banished. 

The great and generall Earth-quake. 

A violent tempest which brake downe the winde-mill 
at Charlstown, & caused two floods in six houres. 

John Harvard master of Arts, of Emmanuel Colledge 
in Cambridge, deceased : & by will gave the half of 
his estate (which amounted to about 700 pounds) 
for the erecting of the Colledge. 





























































Mr. Roger Harlakenden one of our Magistrates, about 
30 years of age, a man of singular piety and sin- 
ceritie, dyed. 

Another tempest, which threw down some new strog 
buildings, & when it blew at South, raysed the river 
at Connecticut 21 foot above the medowes. 

Great drought throughout the country. 

Miantonimoh conspires against the English. 

Pascataque submitted to our Government. 

This winter five weeks together Charls-River was pass- 
able upon the ice. 

A general conspiracy of the Narrowgansets & other 
Indians to cutt off all the English. 

This year several well-affected persons & Gentlemen 
in Virginia, sent to us for some to dispence the Word 
of God to them. 

Mr. Tompson and Mr. Knowles were sent. 

Another Earthquake on the Lords day morning. 

The four English Colonies viz: Massachusets, Pli- 
mouth, Connecticut & New-haven, were united. 

Pumham & Sacononoco Sachems, submitted them- 
selves & their people to the English. 

This summer the Lord sent great flocks of Pigeons, 
which devoured much corn. 

Miantonimoh wageing warr against Uncass, was taken 
and put to death for his treacherie. 

Five Sachems, Cutchamakin, Mascanomet, Squaw- 
Sachem, Wassamegen, Nashawanon submitted them- 
selves, their people & lands unto us. 

Passaconaway the chief Sachem upon Merimack, & his 
sons came in voluntarily and submitted to our Gov- 

The Narrowgansets began to warr upon Uncas, in re- 
venge of Miantonimoh his death. 

Mr. George Phillips, first Pastour of y e Church at 
Water-towne, dyed. 

The Narrowganset Sachems, Pesicus and Mexanimo, 
son of Connonicus, concluded peace with the Eng- 
lish ; and gave 4 of the chief of their children for 












The Lord sent multitudes of Caterpillars amongst us, 

which marched thorow our fields, like armed men, 

and spoyled much corn. 
Mr. Eliot began to preach to y e Indians in their owne 

An Epidemicall faint cough through the Country. 
Mr. Tho. Hooker, Pastour of the Church at Hartford, 

rested from his labours. 
Mr. Green, Pastour to the Church at Reading, dyed. 

The Recording Secretary said that he would read 
some passages from a letter he had recently received 
from the President of the Society, as the members would 
be glad to hear of his visits to localities interesting as 
well to Americans as to Europeans : — 

London, 17th July, 1868. 
Dear Mr. Deane, — 

. . . We are suffering here from perfectly tropical heat. Last 
Saturday, the 11th, I ran down to Long Melford, and spent a quiet 
Sunday with Almack. In the afternoon I went over to Groton Church, 
and lingered awhile at the tomb of Adam Winthrop, and plucked a leaf 
from the old mulberry-tree in what was the Governor's garden. They 
are restoring the old church, and making it quite young again. But 
there is no Winthrop there, and the places that knew him know him 
no more. The next day we went over to Cambridge, and spent a 
couple of days at the University. Term-time was over, and we saw 
but few of the Dons. We dined, however, with the Public Orator, 
at his chambers in Trinity College ; and all the Fellows there (six or 
seven) were very cordial and kind. ... I did not omit to visit Emman- 
uel College, and look at the names of John Harvard and Forth Win- 
throp (poor Forth, who died so soon after his A.B. !) on the Register. 
The next day we went up to Ely, and saw that exquisite cathedral, 
and the amiable and accomplished Bishop ; and from thence we ran 
down to Bury St. Edmunds, and spent a day with Lord Arthur 
Hervey, at Ickworth Park. He is one of the best men, and most 
earnest clergymen, of Suffolk, — full of interest, too, in historical and 
antiquarian matters ; the President of the Suffolk Institute of Archae- 
ology, and, as you remember, one of our Corresponding Members. 
I gave, both to him and to Almack, copies of our last volume of 



Proceedings ; and one, also, to the Suffolk Institute. I took a copy- 
to the London Society of Antiquaries soon after my arrival here, 
and I gave a copy each to one or two special friends of Mr. Peabody. 
... I had a kind letter from Dr. Robbins a few days ago, and shall 
write to him soon. Longfellow has gone to the Isle of Wight. He 
and I had a pleasant visit to the Prince of Wales, last week, by invi- 
tation. The Prince spoke most cordially of the attentions paid him in 
Boston. The same evening, I met him again at a party at Earl 
Spencer's. I wish I could find a moment to see the Althorpe Library, 
as you did ; but I am not sure we can get round in that direction. 
We are going to the Isle of Wight to be quiet next week. 

I have seen Mr. Winter Jones and Mr. Major, since I wrote last, 
and spent some hours with them in the British Museum. They both 
spoke kindly of you, as did Mr. Almack, and desired to be remembered 
to you. . . . The latest news is an unpublished poem of Milton, dis- 
covered in the British Museum ! Who will ever know all the treasures 
contained in that wonderful collection ? Since the Bradford manuscript 
turned up at Fulham, and the Winthrop Papers at New London, 
nothing surprises me in the way of fossil literature. . . . 

Yours sincerely, Robert C. Winthrop. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, September 10th, at eleven o'clock, 
a.m. ; Colonel Aspinwall in the chair. 

The Recording Secretary read the record of the last 

The Librarian announced donations from the City of 
Boston ; the Boston Society of Natural History ; the 
Bunker Hill Monument Association ; the Class of 
1829 of Harvard College ; the Cretan Committee ; the 


Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Animals ; the New-England Historic-Genealogical 
Society ; The New-England Loyal Publication Society ; 
the Rhode-Island Historical Society ; the State His- 
torical Society of Iowa ; the Trustees of the Public 
Library of the City of Boston ; The Young Men's 
Christian Association of Worcester; the Publishers of 
" The Book Buyer " ; Don Miguel d'Antas, Minister 
of Portugal to the United States ; John Apple ton, M.D. ; 
Mr. Deleraine P. Corey ; Mr. Elnathan F. Duren ; Mr. 
Edward D. Harris ; Benjamin D. Johnson, Esq. ; Mont- 
gomery C. Meigs, Quartermaster-General, U.S.A. ; 
Rev. George H. Vibbert ; Clifford 0. Waters, Esq. ; 
Hon. John Wentworth ; from two unknown donors ; 
and from Messrs. Green, Lawrence, and Whitmore, of 
the Society. 

A letter from the Minister of Portugal to the United 
States, Don Miguel d'Antas, was read, communicating to 
the Society, through Mr. Winthrop, the President, a 
copy of a work published by him, under the title, " Les 
Faux Don Sebastian : Etude sur 1'Histoire du Portugal " ; 
for which the thanks of the Society were ordered. 

An application from Mr. Abner C. Goodell, Jr., for 
himself and Mr. Ellis Ames, — Commissioners appointed 
by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the printing 
of the Provincial Statutes, — for leave to copy sundry 
passages from the manuscript continuation of Chalmers's 
"Political Annals," in the archives of the Society, was 
granted under the rules. 

Mr. Ellis Ames exhibited some of the sheets of the 
Provincial Statutes, now in course of publication, and 


made some interesting remarks on the subject of these 
Statutes, and the plan pursued by the Committee in 
editing the work. 

On motion of Mr. R. Frothingham, it was — 
Voted, That Mr. Ames be requested to write out his 
remarks in full, for the information of the Society. 

Mr. Deane read the following paper, which he said 
had been communicated to him by Mr. Frederic Kidder, 
of Boston, it having been copied by him from the Mas- 
sachusetts State Archives, Lib. 197, p. 125: — 

" To the Honb 1 American Congress now setting at Philadelphia. 
"May it please tour Honors. 

" The House of representatives of the State of Massachusetts 
Bay beg leave to represent to your Honors, that they have now 
under their consideration the justice & propriety of abolishing 
Slavery in this State & liberating the Negroes held in servitude 
here. This question has at different times for many years past 
been a subject of debate in former Houses, without any decision on 
the main principle; and although they have generally appeared as 
individuals convinced of the rectitude of the measure, nothing further 
has been done than to have a Bill before them, which after some debate, 
from various circumstantial obstacles & embarrisments, has subsided. 
The last House resumed this question in consequence of a petition 
from a number of Africans, & ordered a Bill to be brought in, which,' 
after one reading, was refered over to this House, & is now before us, 
and has been considered in a first & second reading. Convinced of 
the justice of the measure, we are restrained from passing it only from 
an apprehension that our brethren in the other Colonies should con- 
ceive there was an impropriety in our determining on a question which 
may in its nature & operation be of extensive influence, without 
previously consulting your Honors. We therefore have ordered the 
Bill to lay, and ask the attention of your Honors to this matter, that 
if consistent with the union & harmony of the United States, we may 
follow the dictates of our own understandings & feelings, at the same 
time assuring your Honors that we have such a sacred regard to the 
union & harmony of the United States, as to conceive ourselves under 


obligations to * refrain from every measure that should have a tendency 
to injure that union which is the basis and foundation of our defence 
and happiness." f 

Indexed, — " June 1777." 

Endorsed, — " Letter to Congress respecting freeing y e negroes." 

Mr. Deane proceeded : — 

I regard this paper, Mr. President, as interesting, inas- 
much as it indicates the feeling which existed in the House 
of Representatives of Massachusetts, the year following the 
Declaration of Independence, on the subject of Slavery 
within her borders ; while, at the same time, it shows how 
unwilling were the patriots there assembled, in that emi- 
nently critical period in the history of the country, to take 
any steps, by absolute legislation on the subject, which 

* At the foot of this paper, which, near its close, has some erasures (as it appears to 
be the original draft of the letter), another reading, or some additional words, at this 
place, are suggested, as follows : " suspend what, were we unconnected, we should 
suppose Justice to individuals." — C. D. 

f It appears by the " Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Massa- 
chusetts Bay," that, on Monday, the 9th of June, 1777, " A Bill entitled an Act for 
preventing the Practice of holding Persons in Slavery," was " Read a first time, and 
ordered to be read again on Friday next [the 13th] at ten o'clock, a.m." ( page 19). 
On that day, in the " afternoon," the bill was " Read a second Time, and after Debate 
thereon, it was moved and seconded, That the same lie upon the Table, and that Appli- 
cation be made to Congress on the Subject thereof; and the Question being put it was 
pass'd in the Affirmative, and Mr. Speaker, Mr. Wendall, and Col. Orne, were 
appointed a Committee to prepare a Letter to Congress accordingly, and report" (page 
25). On the next day, Saturday, the 14th, " The Committee appointed to prepare a 
Letter to Congress on the Subject of the Bill for preventing the Practice of holding 
Persons in Slavery, reported." The above draft of a Letter " To the Honorable Amer- 
ican Congress now sitting at Philadelphia," found among the archives at the State 
House, was the Committee's Report, which, as appears by the Journal, was " Read and 
Ordered to lie" (ibid.). 

The "Bill" above referred to, entitled "An Act for preventing the practice of hold- 
ing persons in Slavery," is at the State House in " Revolution Resolves," vol. vii. 
pp. 130-1. 

The following is an extract from the Journal of Brigadier-General Jedediah Preble, 
representative to the General Court of Massachusetts from Falmouth (now Portland): 
" 1777, Friday, June 13th, afternoon. The Slave bill was taken up, and, after a 
long debate, it was voted, that it should lie until a committee, chosen for that purpose, 
should write to Congress to know their minds, whether it would be agreeable to them 
that we should free the negroes. When the Committee reported the letter, the House 
rejected it, and let it lie until Monday." The printed journal says, "Read and Ordered 
to lie; " and the record for Monday is silent respecting it. — C. D. 


might be regarded with disfavor by any of the other colonies 
entertaining different views, and which might " have a ten- 
dency to injure that Union which is the basis and foundation 
of our defence and happiness." Indeed, it is not certain that 
this paper even, — that is to say, the letter here addressed to 
the Congress at Philadelphia, — though carefully preserved 
among the archives of the State, was ever formally trans- 
mitted to the body for whom it was intended. It may have 
been thought best that some influential member should pri- 
vately confer with the Massachusetts delegates in Congress, 
and learn their minds as to the probable effect of the intended 
measure, before proceeding further, as a body, to deal with a 
subject, already, it would seem, exciting jealousy in the na- 
tional councils. Massachusetts had, with her sister-colonies 
thrown off her foreign allegiance ; but she had joined hands 
with those colonies in the common cause, and was careful to 
do nothing to injure that cause while the great struggle was 
pending. Her conduct was noble and needs no defence. 
Let it be remembered, that slavery at this time existed in 
each of the thirteen colonies. It will be observed that it is 
stated that " this question " — that is to say, the abolition of 
slavery in the Colony — "has at different times, for many 
years past, been a subject of debate in former Houses, with- 
out any decision on the main principle ; and although they 
have generally appeared, as individuals, convinced of the 
rectitude of the measure," yet various " obstacles and em- 
barrassments " had intervened to prevent these individual 
opinions and wishes from b'eing embodied in a legislative enact- 
ment. What the nature of these " obstacles and embarrass- 
ments " was, especially during the administration of the royal 
governors, is already well known to tlae student of our 

The reading of the paper elicited considerable discus- 
sion, in which Messrs. Washburn, Paige, Parker, R 
Frothingham, and E. Ames participated. 

1868.] OCTOBER MEETING. 335 

Mr. Deane also spoke of having heard recently from 
the President, Mr. Winthrop, who desired to be remem- 
bered to the brethren. In consequence of the illness 
of Mrs. Winthrop's father and brother, his visit abroad 
had been somewhat abridged, and the party had taken 
passage for New York in the steamer which sails on the 
12th instant. Mr. Winthrop said that, on landing, he 
should proceed directly to Canandaigua, the residence 
of Mrs. Winthrop's father and brother, but he expected 
to be in Massachusetts by the following month. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, October 8th, at eleven o'clock, a.m. ; 
at which the President, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, 
took the chair for the first time, after an absence of 
more than fifteen months in Europe. 

The Recording Secretary read the record of the last 

The Librarian reported donations to the Library the 
past month from the City of Boston ; the Chicago His- 
torical Society ; the Massachusetts Medical Society ; the 
New-England Loyal Publication Society ; the Trustees 
of the Public Library of the City of Boston ; the Editors 
of the " Advocate " ; the Publishers of the " Book 
Buyer"; William Allen, Esq.; John Appleton, M.D. ; 
Mr. George Arnold ; William T. Brigham, Esq. ; Mr. J. 
M. Bugbee ; Rev. S. Hopkins Emery ; Captain William 


F. Goodwin, U.S.A. ; Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; Mr. 
Frederic Kidder ; Mr. Joel Munsell ; Professor Alpheus 
S. Packard; Mr. Daniel Ravenel; Messrs. Sampson, 
Davenport, & Co. ; Walter Wells, Esq. ; and from. 
Messrs. Denny, J. C. Gray, Green, Lawrence, Lincoln, 
C. Robbins, and Saltonstall, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read the following let- 
ter : — 

Public Lib raky, Boston, Oct. 3, 1868. 
Rev. Chandler Robbins, D.D., 

Cor. Sec. Mass. Hist. Society. 

Dear Sir, — Supposing, from the publication of the " Mather 
Papers," in vol. viii., 4th series of the Collections of your Society, 
that you have no farther use for those papers, and as we have need of 
them now to complete the cataloguing of the " Prince Collection," 
I have most respectfully to request (if my first supposition is a fact), 
that you will kindly give orders to have them delivered to us. 

With great respect, J. Wins or, Supt. 

Thereupon it was — 

Voted, That the "Mather Papers," and all other man- 
uscripts belonging to the "New-England" or "Prince 
Library," — which have been retained for special use 
through the courtesy of the pastors and deacons of the 
Old South Church, since the books and papers of that 
collection, deposited with this Society in 1814, were, in 
1859, transferred to the custody of the Old South 
Church, and by them afterwards placed in the Public 
Library, — be now delivered to the custody of the Super- 
intendent of the Public Library. 

Voted, that the grateful acknowledgments of this So- 
ciety be tendered to the pastors and deacons of the Old 
South Church ; and also to the Trustees of the Public 
Library, for their courtesy in permitting the Society to 
retain the manuscripts referred to in the foregoing vote. 


The Corresponding Secretary also read a letter from 
Kobert Clarke, of the publishing firm of Robert Clarke 
& Co., of Cincinnati, Ohio, dated October 8th, 1868, and 
saying, — 

" We are about reviving the Historical Society of Ohio. 
The Committee appointed to revise the Constitution would 
be glad to have a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws of 
your Society, to aid them in their work. If you can spare a 
copy, please forward it to my address." 

Voted, to comply with the request of Mr. Clarke. 
The President, Mr. Winthrop, now spoke as follows : 

I am most deeply sensible, gentlemen, of the compliment 
and the kindness of this unwontedly full attendance, if I 
may be pardoned for attributing it in any degree to personal 
considerations. I thank you sincerely for so gratifying a 
welcome. I need not assure you, I trust, how glad I am 
to see so many of the old familiar faces in the old familiar 
seats, and to find myself once more surrounded by so many 
cherished associates and friends, in the place where, above all 
other places, outside of my own domestic roof, I have been 
privileged to feel myself at home. It has not been without 
many compunctions that I have stayed away from you so 
long ; but circumstances beyond my control have governed 
my movements, at first keeping me abroad longer than I had 
originally proposed, and at last hurrying me back before my 
appointed time. Let me offer to you all, as I do from the 
bottom of my heart, my most grateful acknowledgments of 
your indulgence during my absence, and especially of the 
honor you did me at your last Annual Meeting in re-electing 
me your President for another year. My excellent friend, 
your Recording Secretary, and more than one of your Stand- 
ing Committee, will bear me witness, that my written resig- 
nation was in their hands and at their disposal, if it had been 



the pleasure of the Society to release me from further service. 
Let me offer, too, an especial acknowledgment, and I am sure 
you will all unite with me in doing so, to my valued friend, 
Colonel Aspinwall — I should almost have called him my 
venerable friend, if he had not looked so hale and fresh when 
he greeted me this morning — for the punctuality and fidelity 
with which he has more than filled my place as your first 

I have not been wholly unmindful, gentlemen, of the inter- 
ests of our Society in foreign lands ; and I hope to be able, from 
time to time, to make some communications and contributions, 
for its collections or archives, as the fruit of my tour. But I 
came home too suddenly, and have been at home too few 
days, — I might say too few hours, — to be prepared for any 
thing formal or ceremonious this morning. There is, however, 
one commission with which the Society intrusted me on my 
departure, which I have most happily been able to fulfil ; and, I 
am assured, to your entire satisfaction. Of that commission 
I can make report at once, and you may all see at my side the 
unmistakable evidence of my success, in this beautiful bust of 
our munificent benefactor, George Peabody. 

This bust, gentlemen, I am sure, will speak for itself, in 
more senses than one. No one who is at all acquainted with 
the genial countenance of Mr. Peabody can ever doubt for a 
moment whom it portrays. Nor can any one who is at all 
familiar with works of modern sculpture hesitate to pro- 
nounce it one of the most exquisitely finished heads of Hiram 
Powers. Neither the artist nor the subject are accustomed 
to leave room for any mistake as to who they are, or what 
they have done. 

But there is still a story to-be told as to the way in which 
this admirable bust has now come* into our possession, which, 
in justice to all concerned, must not be omitted on this occa- 
sion, and which I will tell in the simplest manner. It hap- 
pened that, while I was at Rome last winter, my gallant friend, 


Admiral Farragut, with whom I was conversing about that 
noble endowment for Southern Education, of which he and 
myself are fellow-trustees, mentioned that he had seen a fine 
bust of Mr. Peabody in Powers's studio at Florence. As I 
was writing to Powers the next day on business of my own, 
I took occasion to tell him that I had a commission for pro- 
curing a bust of Mr. Peabody for one of the institutions which 
he had so generously endowed ; and I begged him not to dis- 
pose of it elsewhere until I should see him. What was my 
astonishment and 'gratification at receiving, by return of mail, 
a free gift of the bust, to be presented to any institution I 
might select, on the single condition that Mr. Powers's name 
" should not go into the newspapers"! A subsequent letter 
happily relieved me from the strictness of a condition not 
often easy to be fulfilled. " I have no objection," the accom- 
plished artist wrote me on the 4th of July last, " to its being 
known (not published especially, however, in any report) that 
I have presented this bust to you, with permission to dispose 
of it as you like. What I meant was, that the gift of it to the 
institution should be wholly and entirely your own." 

It is under these circumstances, that I now present the bust 
to this Society, assured that its value will be greatly enhanced 
in the estimation of you all, as coming from the hands of an 
American artist, whose skill in this line of art, certainly, has 
never been surpassed ; and whose modesty, I know, will not 
prevent you from offering him some fit acknowledgment of 
the liberality with which he has placed this noble bust at my 

I cannot pass from this topic, gentlemen, without giving 
you the latest tidings of Mr. Peabody himself. I was with 
him at Oxford last year, and witnessed the honors paid him 
by that ancient university. I was with him in Rome during 
the winter, where Story has executed a magnificent statue of 
him for the London Exchange, and where I was privileged to 
accompany him to a private audience by the Pope. As I 


passed through Paris in the spring, where he had received 
the compliment of a special reception by the Emperor and 
Empress, I found his portrait, with an elaborate memoir, in 
one of the illustrated journals of France, a copy of which I 
now lay on the table. More recently, — indeed within a few 
weeks past, — I have seen him in London, whither he had come 
to bid me good-by. I spent an hour or two with him on three 
successive days ; and, though I am sorry to say he was con- 
fined to his chamber, and almost to his bed, he was full of 
confidence and courage ; assuring me that he should soon be 
well ; still doing and devising liberal things ; inquiring with 
eager interest about the various trusts he had established in 
his native land; and promising to come over again in 1870 to 
see his relatives and friends, and to visit those Southern 
schools whose progress and prosperity he has so deeply at 

I cannot forget, gentlemen, in concluding these desultory 
remarks, that we have been deprived of more than one of our 
most valued and honored associates since I was last with you. 
I recall the names of Mr. Charles G. Loring, Governor An- 
drew, and the venerable Governor Lincoln, which are no 
longer on our living roll, but which are still fresh in the 
grateful remembrance of us all. 

From our honorary roll, too, we have lost the name of 
Mr. Justice Wayne, of the Hon. Mr. W. C. Rives, and of 
others hardly less distinguished. I will not attempt to add 
any thing further on this occasion to the tributes which 
you have already paid to these deceased American asso- 
ciates. But I cannot omit to mention, that, since my arrival 
at New York, within a few days past, the ocean cable has 
announced the death of our eminent foreign Associate, the 
Very Reverend Henry Hart Milman, Dean of St. Paul's. 
It was my good fortune to make the acquaintance of Dean 
Milman more than twenty years ago; and I have been 
privileged to renew it on both my subsequent visits to 


England. It is hardly more than two months since I ac- 
companied him to a service at St. Paul's, after spending 
an hour with him in his library. Bent almost double, at 
times, by physical infirmity, he had still the cheerful and 
genial spirit which characterized his earlier years and gave 
such a charm to his conversation. At the age of seventy- 
seven, too, he was still laboring in the cause of history. 
Mr. Murray, the eminent publisher, showed me, just before 
I left- London, the first proof-sheets of " The Memorials of 
St. Paul's," which the Dean was preparing after the exam- 
ple of Dean Stanley's delightful " Memorials of Westminster 
Abbey." I know not how far this work may have been 
completed: I trust it may not be lost; but there is enough 
which cannot be lost. His charming " Life of Horace," in 
that exquisite edition of the old classic poet, would have 
been sufficient of itself to endear his memory to every scholar ; 
while his successive histories of the Jews, of Christianity, 
and of Latin Christianity, and his many other admirable pro- 
ductions, both in prose and poetry, have secured him a 
proud name in English literature. You will all agree with 
me, gentlemen, that we are called to lament the loss of one 
of the most distinguished ornaments of our Society. 

On motion of Professor Parker, it was — 

Voted, That the President be requested to prepare 
for publication in the Proceedings of the Society, such 
portions of his address on assuming the chair this morn- 
ing as he may deem expedient. 

On motion of Dr. Bigelow, it was — 

Voted, That the Massachusetts Historical Society re- 
ceive and accept with great gratification the admirable 
bust of its Honorary Associate and liberal benefactor, 
George Peabody, and desire to express their thanks to 
the President, the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, for his 


agency in obtaining this exquisite work of art for their 

Voted, That the President communicate to Mr. Hiram 
Powers, the eminent American sculptor, to whose liber- 
ality we are primarily indebted for this bust of Mr. Pea- 
body, an assurance of our high appreciation of this 
product of his chisel, and the great satisfaction with 
which we shall give it a place in our historical gallery. 

Mr. Amory asked leave to take copies of certain 
papers in the volumes of " Trumbull Papers " in the 
archives of the Society. 

Voted, to grant Mr. Amory's request, which was re- 
ferred to the Standing Committee, under the rules. 

Mr. Deane read the following letter from our Corre- 
sponding Member, the Hon. H. B. Grigsby, of Vir- 
ginia : — 

Norfolk, Sept. 21, 1868. 

My dear Sir, — I send to your address a framed photograph of 
the statue of Jefferson, by Gait, with the writer, as, exhausted and 
worn down by a typhoid fever of three months' duration, he appeared 
on the occasion of the inauguration. As a work of art the photograph 
is very poor ; but we should like to look on as good a representation 
of the scene of the inauguration of Houdon's statue of Washington. 
The image of Jefferson is as faithfully portrayed in stone by Gait as 
has been that of Washington by Houdon. 

At all events, I send the picture, a suppliant for a berth in your 
historical hall ; and, if it do no more, it will show that I am not un- 
mindful of the Society and of the gentlemen who compose it. 

With the highest respect for the Society, 

I am, very truly, yours, 

Hugh Blair Grigsbt. 

To Charles Deane, Esq., Cambridge, Mass. 

Voted, that the thanks of the Society be presented to 
the Hon. Hugh Blair Grigsby for his acceptable gift 
to the Cabinet. 

1868.] OCTOBER MEETING. 343 

Mr. Deane laid before the Society a number of let- 
ters in answer to queries of Judge Tucker, of Virginia, 
respecting the slavery and freedom of negroes in Mas- 
sachusetts. These letters, which belong to the Cabinet 
of the Corresponding Secretary, were addressed to Dr. 
Belknap, in 1795, by John Adams, James Sullivan, Dr. 
Holyoke, Samuel Dexter the elder, John Eliot, James 
Winthrop, Thomas Pemberton, and Nathan Appleton ; 
to whom Dr. Belknap had communicated the queries of 
Judge Tucker. The collection includes some unpub- 
lished letters of Judge Tucker. Dr. Belknap gave a 
resume of the letters of these distinguished Massachu- 
setts gentlemen in his reply to Judge Tucker, published 
in the fourth volume of the " Collections " ; but the let- 
ters, Mr. Deane felt, should be printed entire ; and he 
brought them forward now, not for the purpose of read- 
ing them, but that they might take their place in the 
volume of Proceedings. 

Dr. Ellis said he was aware of the existence of these 
letters, and had hoped to use them in the preparation of 
the volume of Proceedings which was to embrace the 
early history of the Society, — a volume which had been 
for some time contemplated. 



A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, 12th November, at eleven o'clock, 
a.m., the President in the chair. 

The Recording Secretary read the record of the last 

The Librarian reported that donations had been made 
to the Library from the City of Boston ; the American 
Philosophical Society; the Cretan Committee ; Lawrence 
Academy- at Groton; the Massachusetts Horticultural 
Society ; the New-England Historic-Genealogical Soci- 
ety ; 'the New-England Loyal Publication Society ; the 
Society of Antiquaries of London ; the Society for Pre- 
venting Cruelty to Animals ; the State Historical So- 
ciety of Wisconsin ; the Union Republican Congressional 
Committee ; the Editors of the " Advocate " ; the Pub- 
lishers of the " Book Buyer " ; John Appleton, M.D. ; 
John H. Ellis, Esq. ; Miss Matilda Goddard ; Adjutant- 
General Selden E. Marvin, of New York ; Rev. Samuel 
Osgood, D.D.; William F. Poole, Esq.; Stephen J. 
Young, A.M.; and from Messrs. Denny, Ellis, Eolsom, 
Green, Lawrence, C. Robbins, Savage, Winthrop, and 
Wyman, of the Society. 

The President now called upon the Hon. J. Lothrop 
Motley, who spoke as follows : — 

I was accidentally prevented from attending the last meet- 
ing of the Society. Had I been present I should have asked 
leave to add a few words concerning one of our distinguished 


Honorary Members recently deceased, the Very Reverend 
Henry Hart Milman, late Dean of St. Paul's. 

This is not the place to enter upon an appreciation of the 
labors of that long, brilliant, and useful life. As church 
dignitary, as historian of Latin Christianity and of the Jews, 
as poet and dramatist, as profound classical scholar, as literary 
critic and essayist, he won admiration, respect, and fame, 
being distinguished from the beginning of his youthful career 
at the University down to the latest moments of his venerable 
age. For, although he had far exceeded the limits of the 
Psalmist, he was still vigorously engaged in noble intel- 
lectual labor when his last hour arrived. 

Time would fail me to attempt here an adequate character- 
ization of Dean Milman in his public capacity. But, as I had 
the honor of knowing him well, I would offer a feeble tribute 
to his private social virtues. 

The kindness and warm-hearted hospitality which — like 
many others of our countrymen and colleagues in this insti- 
tution — I have received at his hands, can never be forgotten 
by me. He was, his life long, a conspicuous ornament of the 
most cultivated society of London and of England ; the fa- 
vored guest or the genial host wherever learning, high talent, 
purity of character, and social accomplishment, were prized. 

His manner was frank, sympathetic, and simple ; his con- 
versation, instructive, playful, various, full of matter ; his 
heart, warm, open, and sincere. 

Until he was prematurely bent by advancing years, his 
personal appearance was striking. When I first knew him, 
the erectness of his figure was for ever gone ; his once black 
hair was white as snow, but the heavy brows were very dark, 
and beneath them, the large, coal-black, lustrous eyes shone 
like those of a prophet. 

It would have been impossible for a stranger in London 
society not to remark him and to inquire his name ; and it 
would have been equally impossible to find any denizen of 



that society not ready to answer at once, The Dean of St. 

I had the pleasure, on my last visit to England, late in 
1867, to pass an autumn day or two with him and with his 
gentle, amiable, and accomplished wife, at a charming cottage 
on Ascot Heath, where was his summer residence ; and I was 
glad to find, that, although age had impaired his hearing, 
he seemed otherwise in vigorous health, bodily and mental, 
and to have many years of happiness before him. During 
those days, the conversation turned very often, as it was apt 
to do on other occasions, upon America and his American 
friends ; especially upon our well-beloved and lamented col- 
league, the illustrious Prescott. You, Mr. President, who 
knew the Dean so well, and were so highly appreciated by 
him, remember the affection which he always cherished for 
our great historian, — whose picture hung conspicuously at 
the Deanery, — and the friendship he entertained for many 
others of our countrymen and associates. 

I will not trespass farther on your time, in order to make 
a protracted eulogy on our departed colleague. 

I venture to hope, however, — if it be in accordance with 
the usages of the Society, — that some expression of sorrow 
for his loss, and of sympathy with Mrs. Milman and with his 
sons, may be placed upon our records. 

Whereupon it was unanimously agreed, that the 
President and Mr. Motley communicate to Mrs. Milman 
the deep sense entertained by this Society of the noble 
life and labors of her lamented husband, and our sin- 
cere sympathy in her bereavement. 

The President now spoke of the death of the Hon. 
William R. Staples, LL.D., of Rhode Island, a Corre- 
sponding Member of the Society, who died on the 18th 
of October last, and referred to some of the labors in 


the cause of history which have entitled Judge Staples 
to the grateful recollection of posterity. 

The President read a letter from the Rev. Edwin F. 
Hatfield, D.D., of New York, dated the 20th of August 
last, saying he had forwarded to the Society a copy of 
his " History of Elizabeth, N.J." The volume referred 
to had arrived, and was placed upon the table ; and 
the thanks of the Society were returned for the gift. 

Application was made by Mr. C. W. Tuttle, of Bos- 
ton, for leave to copy some memoranda respecting the 
early settlers of New Hampshire, and particularly a list 
of marriages by the Rev. John Pike, of Dover, N.H., 
from manuscripts in the Society's library. 

Leave was granted under the rules. 

The President read an application from the Rev. Ezra 
S. Gannett, D.D., for leave to copy the portrait of the 
Rev. Dr. Belknap, for the religious society of which Dr. 
Gannett is pastor; and to remove the picture to the 
studio of the artist for this purpose. 

The application was referred to the Standing Com- 
mittee, with full power. 

The President read the following communication from 
our Associate, Mr. Whitmore : — 

Mr. President, — At a meeting of the Society in October, 1867, 1 
called attention to the fact, that Calef, in his " More Wonders of the 
Invisible World" (p. 151 of the original edition), mentioned a paper 
of fables, written by Cotton Mather in defence of his father's services as 
agent to England to obtain a new charter. This " Paper of Fables," 
though only circulated in manuscript at that time, was printed in the 
Collections of this Society, 3d Series, vol. i., among the " Hutchinson 

In the same volume is another tract, being an account of New 
England in or about 1689. This I have identified as being the first 


draft of a pamphlet printed in London, entitled " A Brief Relation of 
the State of New England from the Beginning of that Plantation to 
this present year, 1689," &c. There can be no doubt that alterations 
and additions were made by the agents of the Colony in London ; and 
we may believe Increase Mather to have inspired these changes, since 
the greater portion consists of a translation of a Latin letter written 
by Mather to John Leusden, Professor at the University of Utrecht, 
concerning the conversion of the Indians. A copy of this letter is in 
the Society's library; the title is "De Successu Evangelii apud 
Indos," &c. 

These bibliographic items are not of much importance, but they 
may serve as explanatory notes on these two papers in the printed 

I may here add, that, in the recently published volume of " Mather 
Papers," p. 37, mention is made of one Edward Willey, who came to 
Boston in 1682. In "John Dunton's Letters from New England," 
printed by the Prince .Society, will be found a brief account of this 
gentleman, who was brother-in-law of the Rev. John Bailey. 

Lastly, I would call attention to the fact, that a portrait of Sir 
Edmund Andros has been engraved, for the first time, by H. W. 
Smith, of this city, for a volume of pamphlets to be issued by the 
Prince Society ; and an impression of it will be found in the Memoir 
which I have had the pleasure of placing on your table to-day. 
I remain, yours most sincerely, 

W. H. Whitmore. 

Boston, 12th November, 1688. 

Dr. Ellis presented in the name of Mrs. Levi Lincoln, 
of Worcester, a parchment " Deed from William Shir- 
ley, Esq. & Frances his wife, To Cornelius Waldo, dated 
March 10th 1755-6"; for which the thanks of the So- 
ciety were returned. 

Dr. Ellis desired to state that the contemplated course 
of lectures before the Lowell Institute this winter, by 
members of the Society, had been arranged, and would 
take place as before announced. 

Mr. Deane spoke in terms of commendation of a vol- 
ume lying upon the table — a gift to the Library of the 


Society from the editor — entitled, " My Campaigns in 
America : a Journal kept by Count William de Deux 
Ponts, 1780-81 ; translated from the French Manu- 
script, and edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by 
our associate, Samuel Abbott Green." 

Mr. Folsom said, he had read most of this book with 
care ; and it seemed to him the Society should congratu- 
late itself, that, through one of its members, it had been for- 
tunate enough to discover such a treasure. We all know Dr. 
Green's zeal in preserving and distributing materials for 
American history ; and here at last is his reward. The book 
had come from Lorraine to Paris, within a few weeks of his 
own arrival there, in the summer of 1867, as if to seek him 
as a worthy possessor. Count William Deux Ponts had given 
a minute narrative of what fell under his own observation on 
the voyage hither, and afterward of what occurred on land. 
He bore so distinguished a part in the siege of Yorktown 
that he was sent to France to announce the victory. As to 
his character, a glimpse is given on page 2, showing that " the 
age of chivalry " was not yet " gone " ; the spirit of " Partant 
pour la Syrie " breathes audibly on that page ; — 

" I could not love thee, dear, so much, 
Loved I not honor more." 

Again, the author's character comes out charmingly on page 
56, in his attack on the works at Yorktown, while Lafayette 
(another preux chevalier of the same class, three years 
younger) was leading a similar attack on his right, — "the 
boy" that Cornwallis had said, "could not escape him." 
But I am not to forestall the pleasure of the reader. 

The President communicated a genealogical chart of 
the Sinclair family, presented to the Society, through him, 
by the Rev. Christopher M'Cready of Dublin, Ireland. 


He also communicated copies of letters — which passed 
between Roger Williams and Mrs. Anne Sadleir, the 
daughter of Sir Edward Coke, in 1652, while Williams 
was on a visit to England — from the originals in the 
Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. The transcripts, 
which are very faithfully made, were kindly taken for 
Mr. Winthrop by S. Aldis Wright, M.A., the Librarian 
of that College. These letters had already been printed 
in Prof. Elton's " Life of Roger Williams," in 1853, from 
copies procured by Mr. Bancroft while Minister to 
London, and by him presented to the Rhode-Island 
Historical Society ; but in these printed copies the 
original orthography is not preserved, and some errors 
and omissions are noticed, which would indicate that the 
transcripts from which they were printed were incorrectly 

The President presented a copy of a letter given below, 
from Henry Newman to Secretary Delafaye, relating to 
the Charter of Harvard College, procured from " Her 
Majesty's Public Record Office in London " ; also an 
abstract of other papers in that office relating to the 
College, all which had been furnished him by Mr. W. 
Noel Sainsbury. 

[Am. & W. Ind., Vol. 563.] 
Henry Newman to Sec. Delafaye 15 Nov. 1725. 

Sir, — It was sometime before I could find the Copy of the Charter 
of the College at Cambridge in New Engl? 

I find it was granted by the Gov r . and Council, who were always 
understood to be the Overseers of the College, though they have not 
declared themselves to be so, in express terms. 

The Lower House of Representatives as they have invaded the 
King's Prerogative in other things, so in this, there is nothing of mo- 


ment done in the College now without consulting them : but if the 
Govern in', here should think fit to grant them a Royal Charter now, 
I am perswaded they would thankfully accept it, and it would be a 
means to attach the Students there to the King's interest, who even now 
that they are dependant upon the Orders of the Assembly, have dared 
to dedicate their Theses to the Gov r . in his absence, as a mark of their 
respect to the King's Representative, and to pray for him publickly, 
while others are afraid of shewing him so small a respect, for fear of 
incurring the displeasure of the mighty lower House. 

I am, Sir, Your most obed.' hum bl . e Serv.* 

Henry Newman. 

Mk Delafaye. 

Papers relating to Harvard College. 

1700 Nov. 19. Draft of charter for incorporating Harvard College 
agreed to by the Council & Assembly of Massachu- 
" " Letter from Sir H. Ashurst (Agent) of l 8 . 1 Inst, 

together with Draft of charter desired by Governm* 
of Mass: (inclosed) were read. 

1700-1. Feb. 13. Address of the Pro v. of Mass. Bay relating to Harvard 
College taken into consideration. Draft of Charter 
sent to Solicitor General — remarks thereon. 
" " Letter from the Lds of Trade to Solicitor General 


1701. May 30. The want of the Solicitor General's report the cause 
of delay of the Report of the Board of Trade thereon 
— notice to Ashurst. 
" " Lds of Trade to Sir H. Ashurst about the Charter. 

The Recording Secretary communicated, from Mr. 
Hillard, the Memoir of the late C. C. Felton. 





Cornelius Conway Felton, the oldest son of Cornelius 
Conway and Anna (Morse) Felton, was born in Newbury, 
Massachusetts, Nov. 6, 1807. From his childhood he 
showed an ardent love of study, in which he was warmly 
encouraged by his parents, who, though poor, were able to 
send him to the academy at Bradford, Massachusetts, for one 
year, and afterwards to the town school at Saugus, to which 
place they had removed in his boyhood. 

In 1822, he was sent to a private school at North Andover, 
under the charge of Mr. Simeon Putnam, an energetic and 
successful teacher of youth. Here he remained a year and a 
half, preparing for college, studying with enthusiastic dili- 
gence, and going over a wide range of reading both in Latin 
and Greek, not superficially, but thoroughly and critically. 
Among other things, he made an English version of " Grotius 
de Veritate." 

He entered the Freshmen class at Harvard College in 1823, 
and soon began to attract attention by his studious habits, his 
love of knowledge, and his accurate and thorough scholarship. 
Nor was he more admired for his intellectual superiority than 
beloved for his transparent simplicity of character, his warmth 

iO > <D . JuJUvn^ 


of heart, and the cordial sweetness of his nature. There was 
nothing ascetic in his temperament or recluse in his habits. 
Fond as he was of reading and study, the face of a friend was 
always more attractive to him than the silent page of a book. 
He was then a tall and slender youth, with a slight stoop and 
a pale complexion, looking like one who had grown up rapidly 
and worked hard at his books. He soon took, and kept 
throughout, a high place in his class, though the obtaining of 
college rank was always a secondary object with him. In 
him the love of excellence was stronger than the love of ex- 
celling ; and he gave himself to study for its own sake, and 
not for any honor or success it might bring. He left college 
with an amount of knowledge equalled by few of its gradu- 
ates, and surpassed by none. His range of study had been 
very wide. He was an excellent Latin and Greek scholar, he 
had made himself well acquainted with the principal languages 
of modern Europe, and had gone over the whole range of 
English literature with an omnivorous and indiscriminate 
appetite that seemed to grow with what it fed on. 

These attainments had not been made without struggle 
and difficulties. He had been born and reared in the air of 
poverty ; and this burden had pressed upon him during his 
whole collegiate course. But his strong and elastic spirit 
was not crushed or even depressed by it; and in his latter 
years the efforts and privations of his youth were never re- 
called by him with any thing but a healthy sense of gratitude 
for the moral training they had furnished. Owing to his 
father's narrow circumstances, he was dependent in part upon 
his own exertions for the means of defraying his college 
expenses. In the winter vacation of his freshman year he 
found congenial employment as an assistant in the college 
library. In his sophomore and junior years, in compliance 
with the good custom of these days, he taught school, first at 
Concord, and afterwards at Boston, besides a few weeks during 
which he was called upon to supply a vacancy in the Round 



Hill School at Northampton. During his senior year he was 
one of the editors of the " Harvard Register," a college peri- 
odical which fluttered through a brief existence, and is now 
valued by collectors of rare books. 

It would be doing injustice to Mr. Felton not to speak of 
the singular purity of character which he maintained during 
his whole collegiate course. A youth in college is exposed to 
peculiar dangers and temptations; and, among good men, 
there are not many who can look back upon their academic 
life without something to regret ; but among these few Mr. 
Felton was one. He was born with an instinctive respect for 
law, and he never chafed or fretted under the demands of 
legitimate authority. Whatever was required of him was 
performed in a spirit of cheerful obedience. His genial 
nature and companionable temperament might have proved 
a snare to him, had not his character been as remarkable for 
purity as for sweetness. He was one of those happily organ- 
ized men whose natural affinity is for good, and who are 
repelled from all forms of evil not more by moral reflection 
than by instinctive aversion. When he left college he was 
as ignorant of vice as he was rich in knowledge. 

Immediately after leaving college, he went to Geneseo, in 
the State of New York, in company with two of his class- 
mates, Mr. Seth Sweetser and Mr. Henry Russell Cleveland, 
to take charge of the Livingston County High School, an 
academy founded by the late Mr. James Wadsworth, of 
Geneseo, for the education of youth in the higher branches 
of learning. Here he remained for two years, and then re- 
turned to Cambridge, having been appointed tutor in Latin 
in the college. 

In the following year, 1830, he was appointed tutor in 
Greek, and two years later College Professor of Greek. In 
1834, he was made Eliot Professor of Greek Literature, which 
place he held till his elevation to the presidency. In addition 
to the duties of his professorship, he filled for many years the 
office of regent of the college. 


As a teacher of the language of Greece, and a lecturer 
upon its literature, Mr. Felton found himself in a sphere of 
duty entirely congenial to his tastes, habits, and turn of 
mind. He liked academic life, its quiet occupations, its regu- 
lar tasks, its tranquil uniformity. The bell which summoned 
him day after day to the same round of avocation, never fell 
with a harsh or unwelcome sound upon his ears. His love of 
study was as strong a passion in his manhood as it had been 
in his boyhood and his youth ; and of all subjects of study, 
there was none in which he took so much pleasure as the rich 
language and splendid literature of Greece. His books, his 
friends, his family, the daily discharge of his academic duties, 
made up a life which met all his wishes and crowned all his 
hopes. It is pleasant to see a man in his place, doing what he 
likes to do, and what he was made to do ; and the friends of 
Mr. Felton enjoyed this sight from the day when his connection 
with the college began down to that of his death. 

In 1833, he published an edition of Homer with English 
notes, — a work which has since passed through several 
editions, with revisions and emendations. 

In 1840, he translated MenzePs work on " German Litera- 
ture," which appeared in Ripley's " Specimens of Foreign Lit- 
erature," forming three duodecimo volumes ; and in the same 
year he gave to the public a " Greek Reader," containing 
selections in prose and verse from Greek authors, with Eng- 
lish notes and a vocabulary, which has since been frequently 

In 1841, he published an edition of the " Clouds " of Aris- 
tophanes, with an introduction and notes; since revised and 
republished in England. 

In 1843, he aided Prof. Sears and Prof. Edwards in the 
preparation of a work on Classical Studies, containing essays 
on classical subjects, mostly translated from the German ; and 
he assisted his friend Prof. Longfellow in the preparation of 
the " Poets and Poetry of Europe," which was published in 


1845. In 1844, he united with Dr. Beck in bringing out a 
translation of Munck's " Metres of the Greeks and Romans." 

In 1847, he published an edition of the " Panegyricus," 
of Isocrates, and also of the " Agamemnon " of iEschylus ; 
each with an introduction and English notes. A second 
edition of the former appeared in 1854, and of the latter in 

In 1849, he translated from the French Prof. Guyot's work 
on physical geography, called " The Earth and Man " ; and in 
the same year he published an edition of the " Birds " of 
Aristophanes, with an introduction and English notes, which 
Was republished in England. 

In 1852, 4 he prepared for the press a selection from the 
writings of Prof. Popkin, his immediate predecessor in the 
Eliot professorship, prefixing a kindly and discriminating 
notice of that sound scholar and eccentric man, whose image 
is still recalled by his surviving pupils with grateful regard. 
In the same year, he published a volume of selections from 
the Greek historians, arranged in the order of events. 

The period from April, 1853, to May, 1854, was spent by 
him in a European tour, in the course of which he visited 
Great Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and 
Greece ; giving some five months to the last named country, 
visiting its most interesting spots and carefully studying its 
architectural remains. He learned to speak its language with 
considerable fluency ; and mingled much more with the people 
than is usual with the general run of travellers. His amiable 
temper, his scholarly enthusiasm, and his disposition to look 
upon the bright side of things, led him to take a more hopeful 
view of the future of Greece than is brought away by such 
observers as see the social and political state of that country 
in the cold light of the present, and not through the idealizing 
haze of the past. He became acquainted with many of the 
scholars and men of letters of England, France, and Germany, 
from whom his literary reputation and engaging manners 


never failed to secure a friendly reception. Among others, it 
was his fortune in Paris to meet with the Provencal poet 
Jasmin, whose untutored genius and southern fervor of 
temperament made a lasting and most agreeable impression 
upon him. In him, he saw the nearest approach that civilized 
Europe could supply to those wandering minstrels of early 
Greece, whose songs were handed down from generation to 
generation by memories which the invention ^of letters had 
not yet begun to weaken. 

His impressions of Europe during this visit were given to 
the public in a small volume, called " Familiar Letters from 
Europe," published after his death. It was made up, as the 
titlepage purports, of selections from letters written home to 
his family with a traveller's rapid pen, and on that very ac- 
count gives a more lively impression of his engaging qualities 
of mind and character. It is marked by a freshness of feeling 
rarely found in mature manhood ; by a readiness to be pleased ; 
by a hopeful spirit ; as well as by sound observation, a candid 
judgment, and an instinctive sense of justice. The style is 
easy and flowing, the descriptions are animated and graphic, 
and the work is everywhere brightened with gleams of playful 
and unforced humor. In 1855, he revised for publication in 
the United States, Smith's " History of Greece," adding a 
preface, notes, and a continuation from the Roman conquest 
to the present time. In the same year, an edition of the Earl 
of Carlisle's " Diary in Turkish and Greek Waters " was pre- 
pared by him for the American press, with notes, illustrations, 
and a preface. 

Busied as he was with his duties as professor and his 
literary labors, in the year 1855, a new sphere of usefulness 
and occupation was entered upon by him. In that year, his 
friend and connection by marriage, Prof. Agassiz, opened a 
school for young ladies in Cambridge, in which Prof. Felton, 
for several years, taught and lectured. 

In 1856, he published a selection from the writers of modern 
Greece in prose and verse. 


Besides the above works, Prof. Felton was the author of* a 
life of Gen. Eaton, in Sparks' s " American Biography," of 
various occasional addresses, and of numerous contributions 
to the " North American Review," " Christian Examiner," and 
other periodical publications. For Appleton's " New American 
Cyclopsedia," he prepared the articles on Athens, Demosthenes, 
Euripides, Greece, Greek Literature, and Homer, some of 
them long and elaborate, besides biographical notices of his 
friends Prof. Agassiz and Prof. Bowen. 

His interest in the daily course of the social and political life 
around him was never affected by his academic duties or his 
literary labors. He was a frequent contributor to the daily 
press. A series of articles from his pen appeared in the " Bos- 
ton Courier," during the years 1857 and 1858, on the subject of 
Spiritualism, which was to him a mischievous delusion, weaken- 
ing the mind and poisoning the moral sense; and he assailed 
it with great force of argument and energy of expression. 

In 1856, he made a second visit to Europe, partly by way 
of relaxation, and partly with a view of making further obser- 
vation of the moral and material condition of Greece. 

Professor Felton's most important literary production did 
not appear till after his death. It is a work in two octavo 
volumes, entitled, " Greece, Ancient and Modern," and was 
published in 1867. It is made up of four courses of lectures 
delivered before the Lowell Institute, in Boston, in the years 
1852, 1853, 1859, and 1854; the course appearing as the 
third in the book having been the latest in the order of deliv- 
ery. The lectures are forty-nine in all : the first course is on 
the "Greek Language and the Poetry of Greece " ; the second 
on the "Life of Greece " ; the third on the " Constitution and 
Orators of Greece"; and the fourth on "Modern Greece." 
The writer of the brief preface prefixed to the work says : 
" These lectures, though written very rapidly, — almost always 
in the intervals between their delivery, — embody the results 
of life-long study, and of a conscientiously careful and accurate 


scholarship." This is strictly true, and more might have 
been said in their praise. In reading the work, it should be 
borne in mind that it consists of lectures prepared for popu- 
lar audiences. Such is not the form which an author would 
choose for the treatment of a theme so rich and comprehen- 
sive as the history and literature of Greece, and the rhetori- 
cal garb, in which a speaker naturally clothes such dis- 
courses, is too loose and flowing for the closet. No better 
impression can be given of the peculiar excellence of the 
lectures than by saying that they combine the traits of 
the German scholar and the American citizen. The learning 
is copious, comprehensive, and exact ; drawn from the best 
European fountains, and not shrinking from the test of the 
highest European standard ; but this learning is animated 
and vivified by the generous sympathies and warm humanity 
of an American man and voter. There was nothing cold 
or colorless in the author's nature, and in every thing he 
wrote we can feel the pulse of sympathetic, human feeling. 
Though never a partisan, he was always an attentive and 
interested observer of the political movements of his time. 
He never neglected the duty of voting, and never gave 
a vote lightly and unadvisedly. Gibbon, in his auto-biogra- 
phy, speaking of his experience as a volunteer captain of 
militia, says, " The discipline and evolutions of a modern 
battalion gave me a clearer notion of the phalanx and the 
legion; and the captain of the Hampshire Grenadiers (the 
reader may smile) has not been useless to the historian of 
the Roman empire." In like manner, Professor Felton's life 
in the midst of a cultivated and excitable democracy, in a 
commonwealth forming one of a numerous confederacy, gave 
him a vivid sense and instinctive comprehension of the poli- 
tics of Greece, such as no mere observation through the 
spectacles of books could have secured. We see especially 
the benefits of this practical training in the duties of citizen- 
ship in his third course, which is devoted to the constitutions 


and orators of Greece. The constitutional struggles and the 
eminent statesmen of his own country had thrown light upon 
the orators of Greece, and the questions which they had dis- 
cussed. Webster and Hayne had illustrated Demosthenes 
and iEschines : a public meeting in Faneuil Hall had prepared 
him to understand an Athenian ecclesia. Social habits, forms 
of government, costumes, and usages, change ; but man, the 
passions by which he is kindled, the motives by which he is 
urged, the prizes he pursues, the shadows he grasps, remain 
the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Limited as was the 
area of Greece, small as was its population, the immortal his- 
tory of Thucydides is a record of struggles and contests in 
which the combatants fought upon such quarrel, and were 
spurred by such incentives, as we have witnessed upon a far 
grander scale, and upon a vastly wider stage, in our own 
country. Thus in this portion of Professor Felton's work 
there is an intuitive apprehension, an ease of movement, de- 
rived from familiar observation of scenes kindred to those 
he is describing. 

And there is another merit of the work, — the more strik- 
ing when viewed in connection with the author's sympathetic 
temperament, — and that is a just and conscientious tone of 
thought which flows from a fairness of mind and a sincere 
love of truth. He had no taste for paradox, was no partisan, 
was warped by no prejudices, ruled by no theories, had no 
idols to set up and none to cast down. In his pages we ob- 
serve the glow of a generous humanity, but not passion, heat, 
or denunciation. It is difficult to write about Greece without 
betraying a partisan bias, but he has proved that it is not 
impossible. He is not the advocate of democratic Athens or 
of aristocratic Sparta, but holds the scales of a candid judg- 
ment between the two. In confirmation of what we have 
said upon this merit of the work, we would refer to his sum- 
ming up of the arguments on both sides of the so-called 
Homeric controversy, to his account of the contest between 


Demosthenes and JEschines, and to his estimate of the literary 
position and influence of Aristophanes. 

Those who personally knew Professor Felton will find in 
this work a certain nameless and indefinable charm from the 
fact that it so frequently recalls the traits of mind and charac- 
ter which made the author so dear to his friends. In no book 
is Buffon's remark, " the style is the man/ 7 more distinctly 
illustrated than in this. The writer's love of truth, his love 
of beauty, his genial temperament, his generous sympathies, 
his playful humor and keen sense of the ludicrous, are so pre- 
served and presented in these pages, that in reading them 
we seem to be talking with him anew, to feel again the 
warm grasp, to see the light of his smile, and to hear once 
more his hearty and contagious laugh. For this reason we 
pardon an occasional want of finish, a careless expression, a 
colloquial phrase, the introduction of a touch of humor where 
a severe taste would not have yielded to the temptation, — 
all which would have been pruned or corrected under a care- 
ful revision. His was always a rapid pen ; and his style has 
not the fastidious finish which is attained only by slow writ- 
ing or patient correcting. 

In January, 1860, the presidency of Harvard College be- 
came vacant by the resignation of Dr. Walker, and the eyes 
of the friends of the college, and of the public generally, were 
turned towards Professor Felton as his destined successor. 
This involved an important change in his life and duties, and 
it was not without hesitation and misgiving that he yielded 
to the general wish. He knew that any change of occupation 
after the age of fifty is always a doubtful, and generally an 
unsuccessful, experiment. The task of teaching had become 
easy to him through long usage, and in accepting the presi- 
dency, he would be obliged to assume the duties of govern- 
ment and discipline, and that, too, over a little commonwealth, 
the members of which are neither men nor boys. He knew 
from observation what were the difficulties of the new posi- 



tion, and had he taken counsel of his own inclinations it is 
doubtful whether he would ever have undertaken them. 

But a sense of duty constrained him. He was elected 
president by the corporation on the 26th of January, 1860, 
and the appointment was unanimously confirmed by the Board 
of Overseers on the 16th of February. The new president 
entered upon the discharge of his duties at once, but his in- 
auguration was postponed to Thursday, the 19th day of July, 
being the day of the Triennial Festival of the Alumni, who 
were invited by the corporation to unite their celebration 
with the ceremonies of inauguration. 

The day of inauguration will long be remembered by those 
who had the fortune to be present at the exercises. A strong 
and peculiar interest was given to the occasion by the appear- 
ance on the platform of four ex-presidents of the college, — Mr. 
Quincy, Mr. Everett, Mr. Sparks, and Dr. Walker, of whom 
the first three have since passed away from earth. When 
the venerable form of Mr. Quincy, bent beneath the weight 
of eighty-nine years, was led upon the platform, the whole 
audience rose to their feet and greeted him with prolonged 
applause and shouts of enthusiastic welcome. The inaugural 
discourse of the new president was a scholarly and eloquent 
discourse, mainly occupied with a defence of classical studies 
and of the American system of collegiate instruction. The 
discussion of these grave themes was enlivened by occasional 
gleams of that characteristic humor which he could not have 
wholly suppressed without doing violence to his nature. In 
a paragraph, which was heard with marked attention by the 
audience, he announced his purpose to have offences against 
the law, committed within the college walls, punished in the 
same manner as if they had occurred elsewhere. As pam- 
phlets, in genera], at the end of eight or nine years, pass out 
of sight and mind, we copy a portion of his remarks on this 
subject : — 


" And this leads me to a topic on which I feel it my duty to say a 
word. I am aware that some have fancied that the law of the State 
cannot cross the boundary-lines of the college premises, whatever 
deeds may be perpetrated there. I shall speak my mind frankly, be- 
cause I think the time has come when the subject should, once for all, 
and in the most public manner, be set in its true light. In a well- 
ordered society, when crime has been committed, the public law steps 
in to vindicate its supremacy, and citizens of every grade and calling 
stand before its dread tribunal on the footing of exact equality. No 
fear or favor, or personal solicitations, can set aside its stern decree, or 
abate the penalties it inflicts on the doers of evil deeds. I know of no 
power in the college, or the State, which can make an exception here, 
or can establish a refuge for crime in these grounds. The Faculty, 
corporation, and overseers combined could not arrest for a moment 
the footsteps of justice, pursuing the offender into the college domains. 
There is no right of asylum for wrong and violence near the altars of 
learning and religion. It is to the honor of our students, that the 
cases of offence are so few and far apart that the very memory of one 
dies out before another occurs ; and when one does occur, both the act 
and its legal consequences come upon them with surprise. The course 
of the law strikes them as a novelty, which they sometimes vehemently 
resent. And then we hear from many quarters, that we are a paternal 
government, and that sounding phrase is considered argument enough 
to condemn the most indispensable course of well-considered action. A 
paternal government ! The Austrian and Russian despotisms are 
paternal governments. That cannot be what is meant. It is the fam- 
ily government, perhaps, to which they refer. What family govern- 
ment ever shielded its members from the penalties of violated law ? 
What father ever had the power or the right to protect his son from 
the officers of justice, even if it was the paternal mansion itself which 
the reckless youth had burned to the ground ? 

" I take it upon me to say — and I say it not as a new thing, but as 
a matter both of common sense and common law — that these grounds, 
consecrated to learning and piety ; these buildings, that so many gen- 
erations have inhabited ; this property, the charities of our ancestors 
and our contemporaries, dedicated to science, letters, education, and to 
the worship of Almighty God, — all these enjoy the protection of the 
law. No man shall lay the hand of violence on these sacred trusts. 
High privileges, secured by the gifts of generous and pious men, are no 


excuse for midnight outrage and barbarous violence. He who forgets 
the dignity of his position as a student, his obligations as a gentleman, 
his honor as a man, and sets the laws of the land at defiance, runs the 
same hazard as any other man, either of detection in the act, or of con- 
viction and all its consequences afterward. Crime is no more a joke 
within the college walls than it is without, and the false idea that it is 
so I denounce as a dishonest and corrupting sophistry, not to be toler- 
ated for a moment by any conscientious administration of college gov- 

Upon the congenial subject of classical learning, he speaks 
in a strain of glowing eloquence : — 

" The proper objects of a university are twofold. First, educating 
young men to the highest efficiency of their intellectual faculties, and 
to the noblest culture of their moral and religious natures. To accom- 
plish this end, both experience and reason have shown that the study 
of the classical languages of antiquity, — the Greek and Latin, — the 
mathematics, and the physical sciences, and intellectual philosophy, are 
the best means. Other sciences and other departments of literature are 
added, according to time, taste, and inclination, for practical utility and 
literary accomplishment. Instruction in the modern languages is pro- 
vided, as they are the keys to the precious treasures of literature, in 
which the cultivated nations of Europe have embodied their best 
thoughts. The two great languages of antiquity have been taken as 
the basis of literary culture : first, because geographically they stand 
in a central position in the long line of Indo-European tongues ; and, 
secondly, because, as instruments for the expression of thought, they 
rose, in the long succession of centuries, to the highest point of perfec- 
tion. Speech, in itself, is one of the grandest and most beautiful 
objects of study. Taking it in all its relations and forms, we may call 
it the chief distinction of man. It is one of the divinest miracles of 
our being. When we speak, we set in motion an organism framed 
with inexpressible skill, by the hand of the Almighty Creator. What 
curious and subtile adaptations have been contrived to make the act of 
speech not only possible, but easy, — so easy, and so natural, that we 
never pause to reflect upon the wonder of the phenomenon. The 
articulating organs, so exquisitely constructed and adjusted ; the elastic 
air, that serves so many other beneficent purposes in the economy of 
the universe ; the intellect, created, as all science shows, in the image 
of the Divine mind, transmitting its commands from the brain, where 


it sits enthroned like a god, along the speeding nerves to its servants, 
the articulating organs ; the impulse, moving on the wiqgs of the 
breeze, sweeping through intervening space, knocking at the porches 
of the ear, and delivering the message — a bodiless thought — to 
another kindred mind ; — how commonplace, yet how mysterious, how- 
divine ! No wonder that Rhenius, a missionary in the East, in the 
Preface to his ' Tamil Grammar,' exclaims, ' To God, the Eternal and 
Almighty Jehovah, and Author of speech, be glory for ever and ever.' 
But these two languages are not only the perfection of the forms of 
speech ; they contain the most admirable compositions in every species 
of literature, and they stand in point of time also at the head of that 
European civilization to which we belong. Nothing can change the 
past ; the position they occupy, the influence they have exercised over 
the course of thought and the forms of expression in literature, are 
immutable facts. Whatever progress the nations may make in knowl- 
edge and the diffusion of intellectual culture among the people, the 
Greek and Roman writers will hold their place as the venerable teach- 
ers of the European world. You cannot cut off the fountain-head ; 
you cannot stop the stream. To the end of time, the great classic 
authors of Greece and Rome will be the models of all that is noble in 
expression, elegant in style, chastened in taste. Doubtless the human 
race advance in general knowledge and culture, and in command over 
the facts of nature and the laws of dynamics, as they move on through 
the ages. But the twin peaks of Parnassus still rise, and only one 
poet soars to the side of Homer. The Bema stands silent and solitary 
in Athens, and no orator has ascended its steps and plucked the crown 
from the brow of Demosthenes. The Cephissus and the Ilissus lis- 
tened to the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle ; but no modern Cephis- 
sus and Ilissus so haunt the memories of cultivated thinkers as these 
slender streamlets. He would be a bold man who asserted that any 
dramatic poet has surpassed, or that more than one have equalled, 
iEschylus and Sophocles. There have been many more populous and 
wealthy cities than Athens, but only one Athens has illustrated the 
history of man, — there has been but one Athens in the world. Time 
has not dimmed her ancient glories ; her schools still school mankind ; 
her language is the language of letters, of art, of science. There has 
been but one Acropolis, over which the virgin goddess of wisdom kept 
watch and ward with spear and shield. There has been but one Par- 
thenon, built by the genius of Architecture, and adorned with the un- 
approachable perfections of Phidian statues ; and there it rises in the 


pathetic beauty of decay, kindling in the blaze of the noonday sun, 
or softly gleaming under the indescribable loveliness of the full moon 
of Attica." 

President Felton addressed himself to the discharge of his 
new duties with characteristic energy, and with such success 
as to justify the judgment of those by whose influence he 
had been elevated to the place, and to give to the friends 
of the college the assurance, that, in the course of nature, 
they had secured for it many years of wise and prosperous 

But these hopes were destined to disappointment. A little 
less than two years of his official life had passed away, when 
an organic disease of the heart — a complaint which for several 
years had given his friends some uneasiness — showed itself in 
an aggravated form. His illness, however, was not so severe 
as to cause him to postpone an intended journey to Washing- 
ton, where he purposed to be present at a meeting of the 
Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. It was thought, also, 
that the change of air and exhilaration of travel might be of 
service to him. But his disease increased in violence ; and he 
was compelled to stop at the house of his brother in Chester, 
Pennsylvania, where, after an illness of two or three weeks, 
he died on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 1862. 

His death was an unexpected blow to the community, and 
was deeply and widely lamented. On the ninth day of 
March, 1862, his character and services were commemorated 
in a funeral discourse by Dr. Peabody, preached in the college 
chapel. A eulogy upon him was pronounced by President 
Woolsey, of Yale College, at the request of the Regents of 
the Smithsonian Institution, which was printed. 

At the regular meeting of our own Society, on the evening 
of March 13, 1862, it fell to the lot of the writer of this 
notice to give expression to our sense of what we had lost in 
the death of our beloved associate and friend. His remarks 
were prepared under the pressure of a great and fresh 


sorrow ; but now, in looking back upon them, he sees nothing 
to take away and nothing to change. His sense of his friend's 
rare combination of admirable and lovable traits is as strong 
to-day as it was then. A summing up of President Felton's 
character, such as naturally would close a biographical notice, 
would be but a repetition of what he then said.* 

President Felton was about six feet in height, with a large 
frame, broad shoulders, and muscular limbs. He had a slight 
stoop ; and walked with a heavy though quick step. From 
his appearance, a casual observer, passing him in the street, 
would have taken him to be a man engaged in practical 
pursuits rather than a scholar. His head was large, finely 
formed, and covered with a profusion of rich black hair, in 
which not a thread of gray was to be seen at the time of his 
death. His brow was ample, his features were regular, and 
his expression benignant and winning. His constitution was 
robust, and his health generally good, though occasionally in- 
terrupted by attacks of severe illness. He could bear, with- 
out exhaustion, long continued bodily exertion, as well as 
severe mental toil. In his prime, few men could have kept 
up with him on a pedestrian excursion. He was a strong and 
fearless swimmer, and his love of bathing was something like 
a passion. 

Neither his literary labors nor his academic duties absorbed 
the whole of his life and energies. He was one of the Regents 
of the Smithsonian Institution, a member of the American 
Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a corresponding member 
of the Archaeological Society of Athens. He gave much time 
and thought to the cause of popular education, as a member 
of the Massachusetts Board of Education, and in the more 
modest sphere of the School Committee of the city of Cam- 

* These remarks may be found in the volume of Proceedings for March, 1862, pp. 


He was chosen a member of this Society in March, 1856. 
He took a strong interest in its proceedings, was a constant 
attendant at our meetings, and frequently took part in the 

He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from 
Amherst College in 1848, and from Yale College in 1860. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, 10th December, 1868, at eleven 
o'clock, a.m. ; the President, Mr. Winthrop, in the 

The Recording Secretary read the record of the last 

The Librarian reported donations to the Library during 
the past month from the State of Ohio ; the State of 
Vermont; the American Congregational Association; 
the Smithsonian Institution ; the State Historical Society 
of Iowa ; the Suffolk (England) Institute of Archaeology; 
the Trustees of Brown University ; the Trustees of Ober- 
lin College ; the Trustees of the Public Library of the City 
of Boston ; the Bureau of Refugees for Freedmen ; the 
Cretan Committee ; the Publishers of the " Book Buyer"; 
John Appleton, M.D. ; Franklin B. Dexter, Esq. ; Mr. 
Lewis Hayden ; Thomas J. Herring, Esq. ; B. P. John- 
son, Esq. ; Rev. William S. Perry ; Rev. C. T. Thayer, 
and from Messrs. E. Ames, Amory, Folsom, Green, Met- 
calf, Peabody, C. Robbins, Shurtleff, Smith, Wheatland, 
and Winthrop, of the Society. 


The Corresponding Secretary read a letter from 
Brinton Coxe, Esq., dated " Phila. 7th Dec., 1868," 
notifying him that he had sent to the Society " a 
military map of Boston and its vicinity, in the year 
1776," which he asked leave to present to the Society. 
The map is entitled "Carte* von'dem Hafen und der 
Stad[t] Boston, mit den umliegenden Gegenden und den 
L'agern sowohl der Americaner als auch der Englander, 
von dem Chewal de Beaurin, nach dem Pariser Orig[i]nal 
von 1776." It was published at " Leipzig," and its text 
is in the German language. 

The thanks of the Society were returned for the 


Dr. Green stated that the Society was already in pos- 
session of the French map from which this German map 
was copied ; and that it contained what is said to be 
the earliest known representation of the Pine-tree 

The President said he would state, in order that the 
fact might go upon record, that General Grant, the 
President elect of the United States, paid a visit to the 
rooms of the Society, on the third instant, in company 
with Ex-Governor Clifford and Ex-Judge Bigelow. The 
President said he received notice only a few minutes 
beforehand of the intention of the General to visit the 
rooms, but he was happy to be present to do the honors 
on the occasion. He regretted that there was no time 
to summon any other members to be present. 

* " Map of the Harbour and of the Town of Boston, with the surrounding Country, 
and the Camps as well of the Americans as of the English, by the Chevalier de Beaurin, 
after the Paris Original of 1776." 



The President spoke of two volumes lying upon the 
table, written by members of the Society, and presented 
by them ; namely, " The Military Services and Public 
Life of Major-General John Sullivan," by Thomas C. 
Amory, and " Reminiscences of European Travel," by 
Andrew P. Peabody. 

He presented, himself, a card photograph of Count 
Adolphe de Circourt, an Honorary Member; and an 
admirable daguerreotype of our late associate, Isaac P. 

Mr. Ellis Ames read the following paper on the 
qualification for voting, in the Province Charter : — 

The qualification of freeholders, or other persons, to have 
a vote in the election of members to represent their respective 
towns in the General Court or Assembly of the Province of 
the Massachusetts Bay, was by the Province Charter a prop- 
erty qualification only. 

In the Province Charter, or duplicate original thereof, 
brought over by Governor Phipps, and which arrived at Bos- 
ton May 14, 1692, now in the custody of the Secretary of 
the Commonwealth, that qualification is plainly expressed as 
follows ; to wit, " an estate of Freehold in Land within our 
said Province or Territory to the value of Forty shillings per 
annum at the least, or other estate to the value of Forty 
pounds sterling." 

On the first printing of the charter, in 1692, the other estate 
than freehold in land as the property qualification was put 
at " Fifty pounds sterling." On the 30th of November, 1692, 
the General Court passed an act, approved by Governor 
Phipps, establishing precedents and forms of writs and pro- 
cesses ; and, after the prescribed form for the Governor's writ 
to the sheriff of each county, requiring the sheriff of each 
county to make out a precept to the selectmen of each town 


in his county, and requiring the selectmen to cause the free- 
holders and other inhabitants of their several towns, duly 
qualified, as in and by the charter directed, to assemble, at 
such time and place as the selectmen should appoint, to elect 
one or more persons to represent them in General Court, &c, — 
then followed the prescribed form of the sheriff's warrant to 
the selectmen of the several towns in his county in the words 
following ; to wit, — 

" These are in their majesties names to will and require you forth- 
with to cause the freeholders and other inhabitants of your town that 
have an estate of freehold in land within this province or territory 
of forty shillings per annum at the least, or other estate to the value of 
forty pounds sterling, to assemble and meet at such time and place as 
you shall appoint, then and there to elect " " one or more persons " 
" to represent them in a General Court " " to be convened," &c. 

Upon this act or law being laid before the King in Council, 
the whole act was annulled on Aug. 22, 1695, " because," in 
the language of the Committee of the Council, " the sheriff's 
precept directed. other inhabitants worth <£40 to elect when 
the charter appointed such inhabitants worth .£50 to elect"; 
that is, the act or statute assumed to make the property 
qualification of other estate than freehold <£10 sterling less 
than the charter or constitution, and hence the act or statute 
was unconstitutional, as we now familiarly say. 

In the editions of the Province laws of 1699, 1714, and 
1726, and in a London edition of the laws of 1724, the prop- 
erty qualification other than of freehold in lands is printed in 
the copy of the charter prefixed thereto, as follows ; viz., " or 
other estate to the value of Fifty pounds sterling " ; but in 
the editions of the Perpetual Laws of 1742 and 1759 (for 
the charter was never prefixed to the editions of the Tem- 
porary Laws), the property qualification, other than of free- 
hold in lands, is printed in the charter prefixed thereto, as 
follows ; viz., " or other estate to the value of Forty pounds 


Again, in the edition of the more important Colonial and 
Provincial laws, edited by Mr. Dane, Mr. Prescott, and Judge 
Story, and published in 1814, the property qualification of the 
voter, other than of freehold in lands, is printed in the copy of 
the charter prefixed thereto at " forty " pounds sterling. 

A controversy existed between the Provincial politicians 
opposed to the British administration, and the King in Council, 
through their Committee on Trade and Plantations, as to 
whether, by the charter, an inhabitant of the Province, not a 
freeholder, was required to have other estate to the value of 
forty pounds sterling or fifty pounds sterling in value, to 
entitle him to vote. The former insisted that they were 
entitled to go by the very words, "forty pounds sterling," 
plainly expressed in the charter, in the custody of the Secre- 
tary of the Province, and actually signed by the Lords Com- 
missioners of the Great Seal ; the latter insisted that the 
charter required the property qualification, other than estate 
of freehold in lands, to be fifty pounds sterling. 

On looking into a printed copy of the " Acts and Laws of 
the Province of the Massachusetts Bay," now in the Public- 
Record Office in London, formerly the State-Paper Office, to 
which the Province Charter is prefixed and certified by Gov- 
ernor Bernard, on March 30, 1761, the qualification of the 
electors to vote for a representative reads, as printed, "an 
estate of freehold in land " " to the value of Forty shillings, 
per annum, at the least ; or other estate to the value of forty 
pounds sterling." But this, aside from Governor Bernard's 
certificate, is only what we see prefixed to every copy of our 
editions of the Perpetual Laws, either of 1759 or of 1742. 

In " Colonial Entry Book/ 7 No. 62, in the Public-Record 
Office, pages 298 and following, there is an entry of said 
charter plainly written, with " Memorandum," " This Charter 
past the Great Seal the 7* Oct. 1691." Article 15th (page 
329) says, — 


"Provided alwaies that noe freeholder or other person shall have a 
vote in the Eleccon of Members to serve in any great and generall 
Court or Assembly to be held as aforesaid, who, at the time of such 
Election, shall not have an Estate of freehold in land within our said 
Province or Territory of the value of fourty shillings per annum at 
the least or other estate to the value of fifty pounds sterling." 

The original charter of the Province, so called, enrolled on 
the Patent Polls, and in the Public- Record Office, London, 
has the words, "or .other estate to the value of fifty pounds 
sterling," clearly and plainly engrossed therein, and has, at 
the end thereof, only these words, viz., " By Writ of Privy 
Seal" without any signature whatever. While the Province 
Charter, brought over by Governor Phipps, has the actual 
signatures of the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal, yet 
the invariable practice in England was not to have any signa- 
ture whatever to the enrolled charters of colonies and prov- 
inces kept with the public records at home. 

On turning to the Docquet of the Privy Seal, Signet Book, 
3d William and Mary, it will be seen that the Privy Seal, or 
Warrant, was procured by the Earl of Nottingham, Secretary 
of State, and countersigned by Sir George Treby, then 
Attorney-General of England, Sept. 26, 1691. This Privy 
Seal consists of three skins of parchment, each signed by 
King William and Queen Mary. The words therein, u or other 
estate to the value of fifty pounds sterling" are on the first line 
of the centre or second skin of parchment ; and, upon inspec- 
tion, it is plain that " forty pounds sterling " was first written, 
and that the word " forty " was afterwards altered to " fifty." 
Mr. Sainsbury, of the Public-Record Office, from whom 
these particulars were communicated in answer to the inquiries 
of Abner C. Goodell, Esq., of Salem, is of opinion that the 
alteration from "forty" to "fifty" was made before the 
King and Queen signed ; for, in fact, eleven days afterward, 
namely, on the 7th of October, 1691, the charter passed 
the Great Seal ; and the words u fifty pounds sterling " are 
clearly written on the patent roll now in the English archives. 


On turning to Colonial Entry Book, Yol. 62, it plainly ap- 
pears that there was some discussion of this particular ques- 
tion ; for on page 277 of that record is the following entry : — 

" Abstract of the Minutes for the Charter of the Massachusetts 
Colony directed at the Committee of Plantations with the report of 
Mr Attorney General." 

" That there be a General Court or Assembly to be chosen by the 
Freeholders of 40? per annum and other inhabitants worth 50 each in 
money to meet every year, the last Wednesday in May and oftner, if 
the Governor shall think fitt who may convene, prorogue and dissolve 

This record shows that the ownership of personal estate, to 
the value of fifty pounds sterling, by an inhabitant of the 
Province not having a freehold to the value of forty shillings 
sterling, was intended to be the qualification of a voter, and 
that it was so settled by the King in Council before the King 
and Queen actually signed, as before stated. 

The discrepancy as to the words "forty " and "fifty" be- 
tween the Province Charter, now in the State House, and the 
enrolled charter in the Public-Record Office, may have arisen 
from a mistake of the clerk in copying from the enrolled 
charter, and not detected in a subsequent comparison. More 
probably, however, in the haste which seems to have charac- 
terized this proceeding, the parchment, afterward sent over 
as our charter, was copied from the actual original, that is, 
the Privy Seal parchment, before it was signed by the King 
and Queen, and before the word " forty " was changed to 
" fifty," and of course before the enrolled charter was drafted 
from the corrected instrument signed by their majesties ; and 
by accident and mistake sent in that condition and without 
correction to the Province. 

However the discrepancy may have arisen, the party in 
the Province opposed to British interference, especially during 

1868.] COLONIAL PAPERS. 375 

the forty years preceding the Bevolution, claimed that the 
home government were bound by the words as they were 
plainly written in the charter itself as sent over to us. 

Accordingly, upon the adoption of the Constitution of 1780, 
in chap. 1, sect. 3, House of Representatives, art. 4, the 
qualification of a voter in the choice of a representative of a 
town is " having a freehold estate of the annual income of three 
pounds or any estate of the value of sixty pounds." The pounds 
of the constitution in 1780 were what was then, before and 
afterwards, called lawful money ; and a pound lawful money, 
as every one knows, was three dollars and thirty-three cents 
and one-third. Three pounds lawful money was the same 
sum as forty shillings sterling ; and sixty pounds lawful money 
was the same sum as forty pounds sterling. 

This paper may not be devoid of interest, as it shows the 
history of the property qualification of a voter for a repre- 
sentative of a town in the General Court of Massachusetts 
under the Constitution of 1780. 

The President communicated a pamphlet from the 
author, Richard Almack, F. S. A., a Corresponding Mem- 
ber, entitled " Kedington and the Barnardistons " ; also 
from our associate Mr. Whitmore, Part VIII. of the 
Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica," edited by 
Joseph Jackson Howard, also a Corresponding Member. 

The President presented the following papers, which 
had been copied for him from the public archives in 
London, by Mr. W. Noel Sainsbury, of " Her Majesty's 
Public-Record Office," — also a Corresponding Member 
of our Society. In communicating these papers the 
President remarked, that some of them contain very 
extraordinary and most erroneous statements, and that 
all of them would require careful annotation to save 


us from seeming to give currency to what Mr. Jef- 
ferson denominated " false facts." Some grains of 
wheat, however, would doubtless be found among the 
chaff; and, at all events, it was interesting and im- 
portant to know what sort of information was com- 
municated to the British government, in regard to the 
American Colonies, at the early period to which these 
papers relate, and what sort of impressions the British 
Ministry acted on, in their Colonial policy. It is difficult 
to imagine from what source Sir Joseph Williamson, 
the Under-Secretary of State, could have derived many 
of the strange and absurd blunders with which the 
Notes attributed to him abound. A large part of these 
Notes were evidently compiled for the purpose of sup- 
plying arguments to the government of Charles II. for 
the re-assertion of the claim of England to the Province 
of New Netherland, or for furnishing a justification 
for the expedition (soon afterwards sent) for the re- 
duction of that Colony. They may have answered the 
purpose for which they were prepared ; but a stranger 
medley of fact and fiction has rarely found a place on 
the public records of any country. The circumstantial 
narrative concerning Henry Hudson ; the detailed ac- 
count of the transportation of the Pilgrims from Hol- 
land by the Dutch(!) in a ship of Jive hundred tons(!); 
and the story of Dutch treachery, in conducting the 
vessel to Plymouth, instead of guiding it to the Hudson, 
— may serve as illustrations of the imaginative char- 
acter of these Notes. The latter story, indeed (of 
which these Notes give the earliest discovered version), 
was revived, with some differences, in Morton's " Memo- 

1868.] COLONIAL PAPERS. 377 

rial," in 1669. But in either form it is regarded as 
altogether improbable. 

The President desired to refer these papers to our 
Publishing Committee, with full authority to print or 
reject them, as they pleased. But it seemed to him 
that their publication might serve a useful purpose, 
both as showing what was the received history of the 
period, and as affording a salutary warning against trust- 
ing too implicitly even to what may be found in ancient 
official records. 

[Sir Joseph Williamson's # Original Notes relating to New England, Colonial 
Written about 1663.] No? 45." 

A Govy about to be sent, 1634, & S T . Ferd. Gorges to be y? n". Eng. 
man, f to bring all to a settlem* upon y e . great licence & pre- 1634 ' 
sumpcon of y 6 . planters of N. Plimouth. 

S d by Edw. Winthrope's J Papers. 

The first planters of N. Plimouth, being people in K. James 
time that would not conforme, they went over into HolH & from 
thence by application to K. James gott leave to goe & plant in 
N. Engl. und r . y e . Kinges proteccftn & w* liberty of conscience § 
w c . h was signified to sd Winthrope || by S r . R. Naunton then 
Secry of State. 

Upon w c ? they obtained a ComissV from K. James for y e . 
ordering their Body Politicked 

* Williamson was Under-Secretary of State. He was subsequently Secretary of 
State, and Keeper of H. M. State Papers. — W. N. S. 

t See Bradford's " Plymouth Plantation," pp. 328, 329; Winthrop's "History of 
New England," i. pp. 137, 138. — Eds. 

J Mistake for " Winslow." Some of the memoranda on this and the two following 
pages are evidently taken from the Petition of Edward Winslow, printed in the " Pro- 
ceedings " of this Society for 1861, pp. 131-134. — Eds. 

§ See " Proceedings," p. 132; Bradford, p. 29. — Eds. 

|| " Winslow." The agents of the Pilgrims at Leyden, who solicited the privilege of 
" liberty in Religion," from the King of England, were Robert Cushman and John 
Carver. Bradford, i. p. 29, and note. — Eds. 

Tf From Winslow's " Petition." Perhaps the Wincob or Wyncopp patent, from tho 
Virginia Company, dated June 17, 1619, is intended by him. See Bradford, p. 4L; and 
Manuscript Records of the Virginia Company, in the Library of Congress. — Eds. 



Winthrope in this time though a layman preached to them 
& even marryed them of w c ? he was accused here in Eng? in 
Sec. Cooke's time of Secry.* 

They were called in question for being Brownists inK. Ch. 1. 
time. Sec. Cooke, Secry. 

They insisted that they were good Subjects, owned y e . K. as 
Sovereigne, say that they ev* refused to make any Treaty w^ any 
Natives in those Countryes save (those) who did together w 1 ? 
themselves acknowledge the K. for Sovereigne. Their accusers 
in that time were one Morton, Si" Chr. Gardiner & one Bull, f 

At that time y e . thought was to bring them to conformity in 
Religion & to sett a Gov 1 *. ov r them. But w ! 1 they opposed here 
by Edw. Winthorpe, J at w ! 1 time it happened that he was by 
yf Lords imprisoned. 

Sir Jo. Cooke Secry. 

1633. About y e yeare 1633, that is before the yeare it was that y! 
Dutch had planted themselves on y e . North of y e . River where 
they built a fort called Fort Amsterdam in New Netherlands, 
one Walter Twilley was Gov r , w ! 1 y e . then English in N. 
England opposed as an usurpacon & c . § 

1623. The K. for y e . encouraging persons, especially in y e . Westerne 

parts, to send ov 1 ' planters into N. EngH & c . sent circular lett 1 '. 3 
to severall Countyes, as Devon, Cornwall, Somersett, Cittys of 
Bristoll & Exeter, directed to the Lds. U? & Dep. Lieut? & 
Justices & c . || 

1634. In y e yeare 1634 the Comp? of N. Engl d of w ch S r Ferd. 
Gorges was, ^[ agreed to give up y? Patent they then had & to 
receive another from y e King w 1 ! 1 such alteracons as y e . K. 
pleased, i.e. y e . K. reserving y e Govern* to himself. 

* " Winslow " is here intended; and see Bradford, pp. 329, 330; and " Proceedings " 
of this Society for January, 1861, pp. 131-134. — Eds. 

f " Proceedings " for 1861, p. 133. — Eds. 

J "Edward Winslow " is, of course, here meant. He acted as agent for the Massa- 
chusetts Colony, as well as for the Plymouth Colony, to avert the impending doom of a 
"General Governor." See Palfrey, i. p. 391; "Proceedings" for 1861, pp. 131-134. — Eds. 

§ Fort Amsterdam, on Manhattan Island, was commenced in 1626 and completed 
in 1628, in the directorship of Peter Minuet, and before the arrival of Van Twiller. 
Brodhead's "New York," pp. 165, 183. — Eds. 

|| See Sainsbury's Calendar, p. 47. 

*fi " Was a member," or " was Treasurer."— Eds. 

1868.] COLONIAL PAPERS. 379 

The Dutch it seemes had come & planted themselves on y e . 1634. 
river of Connecticute, calling it New Netherlands, & those of 
y e . Mattachusetts or New Plimouth were suspected to have 
called them in, for w c .* crime Winthorpe,* their Agent in En^M 
was committed. This was charged upon that Colony by Sf Ferd. 
Gorges, 1634, in his addresses & papers to y e . Ministers. And 
upon this & other such incid*?, y e . Governm* here discovered y® 
insolence & rebellious hunrT of y* Colony of N. Plimouth, or 
rather y! Colony finding w* ill opinion the Governm* here had 
of them, they called y e . Dutch in for their countenance <& sup- 
port ag* y e . King. 

An Ord r . was settled that no Yessell w*! 1 Passengers or 1639. 
Victualls should part from any port for New .Engl, w^out li- 
cense from y® Board & so it was proclaimed all 1634 j & every 
passenger tooke y e . Oaths of Alleg c . e & Supremacy. 

The principall und r takers for y e . plantacon of y e . Mattachusetts Ye Matta 
Bay in N. Engl. & not mentioned w* their wives & children 1629. 

S? Jo. Winthorpe Gov!" & 3 Sonns. 

Sf Rich. Saltonstall. \ 

Isaac Johnson & y e . La. Arbella sister to y e E. Lincolne, his 

MF Ch. Fines y e E. Lincolnes Brother & c & c & c . J 

" [L. Carleton being Secry.]" 

N.B. These und r takers had 2 yeares before sent 3 or 400 
Serv 1 . 8 before to provide for them houses, corne, & c . but y e . Serv*. 3 
were idle or unfortunate for w" Winthorpe & his followers ar- 
rived in 6 shipps they found all in great want & distresse. 
W^ him went one Stephens a very able shipwright. 

Happened a great Plague in that part where y e . Mattachusetts 1623. 
are since settled, w ! 1 swept away all y e . Natives for 60 miles in 
diameter. This plague was in 1623 or 1622 & y e . next yeare 

* Of course, " Win slow." — Eds. 

t Sic. — Eds. 

\ The compiler of this paper evidently copied these names from the document en- 
tered in Sainsbury's " Calendar of Colonial Papers," p. 112, No. 78. The whole memo- 
randum is printed in the " Proceedings " for November, 1860, p. 93. — Eds. 


a shipp went w* 120 men & women from EngM to plant in 
Delaware Bay, but casually were forced into this Mattachusetts 
Bay & there stayed.* 
1628. From this y e . Colony got by little & little & was in 1628 of 

about 500 people, f 
1632. By y® yeare 1632 w c . h was but three years after Winthrope's 

arrivall they in y e . Mattachusetts were reckoned 2000 persons. 

In this yeare it appears to be that y e . first thoughts were taken 
of sending a GovF to N. EngK, i.e. indeed to sett one over y e . 
Mattachusetts, w c ? they s? was to invade their priviledges granted 
in their Charter & to alter their Governm*. 

Sf Ferd. Gorges was y e . man resolved on to be Gov?, & this 
as was s* upon some informacons given by S? Chr. Gardiner, 
one Morton & one EatclifFe & Bull & c . as if that Colony were ill 
affected to y e . King & y e . Naturall Governm* home & c . w c . h others 
s^ were but scandalls, & S T . F. Gorges onely a designe of private 
advantage &1. 

Those here that pleaded for y! Plantacon were one M r . Down- 
ing, one Capt. Wiggin & G .. J 

Mf Sec. Cooke lookes to have been a friend of y e . Plantacon 
of Mattachusetts. 

Upon complaints brought in & particularly upon an Infor- 
macon in writing of S r Chr. Gardiner of abuses in y e . Governm* 
of y^ Mattachusetts by ord r of yf Board of Dec. 19. 1632. it 
was referred to certaine of y e . Lordes to examine w. 1 Patents 
were out, how obtained & how exercised &°.. § 
1627. The K. of France grants even all this Country of N. Engl d 

to y e . Canada Comp y of France by Lett r . s Patents. || 
1634. S r Ferd. Gorges was first by his Ma tys appointed to be Gov r . 

of N. Engl. 

* The student of New-England history need not be told that there are as many- 
errors in this paragraph as there are lines ; and they are too obvious to be formally 
pointed out. — Eds. 

f Plymouth Colony, at this time, contained about 300 persons; the Massachusetts 
Colony " not much above fifty or sixty persons." — Eds. 

X See " Collections " of this Society, 3 Ser. vol. viii. pp. 320-325. — Eds. 

§ See Sainsbury's "Calendar," p. 158, No. 71.— Eds. 

|| This may refer to the new project for settling Quebec, for which see Charlevoix, 
Nouv. France, under this date. — Eds. 

1868.] COLONIAL PAPERS. 381 

At this time y°. old Patentees, Gorges & c . resolved to surrendr 
their old Patent, & each to take out severall ones of w* was 

At y e . same time he insisted to have y e . Patent granted or 
pretended to be granted to those planted in Mattachusetts Bay, 
repealed, who grew already troublesome & usurping upon y e 
neighb? Planters. 

K. James in y e . 4* year of his Reigne, 9. Apr. gave license * Jacobi, 
by Lett 1 ? Patents for y e . establishing two Colonies in Virginia 
y e . one called yf First Colony und r taken by certeine Noblemen 
Kn*? Merch 1 ? about London, y e other called yf Second Colony 
unde r taken by certaine Noblemen, Kn*! , Merchants &? in y e . 
Westerne parts of Engl?. 

The First Colony had their Patent enlarged twice before yf 
yeare 1619. 

The Second did An? 1619 pray further priviledges as 

1. To be called N. Engl d , w c . h name yf p c . e [K. Ch. I. that 
was afterwards] had given it. 

2. To extend from 40 to 45 degr. North latitude & c . 

3. To have a Councell here in Engl? for their governm* &. . 

S r Ferd Gorges being to goe ovf Govf, it was in proposition 1634. 
to write to yf severall Countyes to engage yf Justices of Peace 
&f to recomend it up & downe to as many as would transport 
themselves to plant & inhabite in N. Engl?.* 

[Sir Jos. Williamson's Original Notes.'] 
Ill timed. New Engl? 

They have there a quarrell among themselves between y e . 
Eeged Independ*? who were yf first Colonists, & a larger opinion 
und r one Stone, who if let alone that yeare would have fallen 
in pieces. f 

Warwicke| was of all men y e . worst to doe it, debauched, idle, 
& und r great p r judices. 

* See, under this date, in Sainsbury's " Calendar," p. 192, No. 34, for draft of pro- 
posed letter to be written. — Eds. 

f The Rev. Samuel Stone, of Connecticut, is probably here referred to. — Er>s. 

J Possibly a mistake for Maverick, though it is doubtful to what transaction the 
note refers. — Eds. 



Cart wright, a for all fopp, perswaded himselfe to be a Jesuite 
by old Bellingham, of y e . family of Jesus. 
S r R. Carre a weake man. 

Y e Boundary of Conecticut is forfeited. 22 Seaport Townes 
would have been cutt off. 

[Sir Joseph Williamson's Orig\ Notes written about 1663.] 

Narrangancetts Plantacon. Framed first by certaine English 
who retireing for scruple of Conscience, about 1643 upon 
applicacon obtained a Charter or Incorporacon from y e Comittee 
for Foreigne Plantacons und r yf Parliam*, empowering them 
to choose their owne Offic 1 *. 3 & to make Lawes to be as neare as 
might be to yl Lawes of England, and upon this have framed 
a Body of Lawes, Yet all Writs proceed in y e . King's name. 
This Charter was renewed by y e . King 1661 or 2. 
1615. A Comiss 1 ? or Patent of N. Engl? granted to y e . W. parts of 

England abput 1615. 

Vid. Jo. Smith's Voyages thither, w th y e Mapp & c . 1618 in 
y e . Paper Office, w c . h seemes to have been one of y e . first dis- 
co very es of it, viz* 1614.* 

Dutch ELsurpacbn. About 1620 &? The Dutch first en- 
croached upon us there in yf North part of N. England, but 
only a trade, not p r tending so much as a Colony there, much 
lesse any sole Propriety. Vid. S? Dudley Carleton's Ires 1621 
from yf Hague. 

The D. West Indy Comp? was erected about 1621. 

[Sir Joseph Williamson's Papers, 1663.] 

Colonial I humbly conceive that w ! 1 gives a Nation right to Coun- 

No! 45.' tryes undiscovered, is a primary discovery, & those places 

we p r tend to in behalf of his Sacred Majestye & Successors 

were by his Royall Predicessors at a vast expence of the treasure 

of the nation, as well as of the lives of many of his good sub- 

* See Sainsbury's Calendar, p. 21, No. 42. — Eds. 

1868.] COLONIAL PAPERS. 383 

jects (severall of them beinge persons of honnour & parts) 
discovered, & longe after hid from those, who now p r sume to 
possess them, w c . h we shall prove as well by foreigne Geogra- 
phers as our owne. 

First, that Sebastian Cabot in the 14 yeare of Kinge Henry 
7*, of happy memory, discovered from Cape Florida, w ! 1 lyes 
in 25 degrees North lattitude, & from thence to 67 degrees |, is 
demonstrated by Clement Adams, a French gentleman,* who 
ingraved a Mapp of the aforesaid Sebastian discoveries. Galea- 
tious Butrigarius, the Pope's legatt in Spaine, asserts the same. 
Baptista Ramusious in his p r face to the third volumne of navi- 
gation, speaks of the gratuety of the afors^ Kinge Henry the 
7* to the said Sebastian Cabot for his discovery of the North- 
erne parts of America, and the like is mentioned in the sixt 
Chapter of the third decad of Peter Martirs Ab angleria, & 
Franciscus Lopez de Gomara (a Spaniard) in the 4 1 ! 1 Chapter 
of his generall historie of the West Indies, grants us to have 
the right from them & all others nations of the north part of 
America ; the improvement of this discovery was obstructed at 
first by the troubles that brake out in Scotland in y? eveninge 
of Kinge Henry the 7*?. Kinge Henry the 8^ though an active 
prince had noe leisure for it, beinge taken up w*! 1 that great 
worke of rescueinge the supremacie of the Crowne from Papall 
usurpation & other great affairs both at home & abroade. After 
him his Son K. Edward the 6 th reigned & dyed in his nonage, 
and Q. Maryes short reigne was spent in endeavoringe to restore 
that interest of the See of Rome which her father had rejected. 
At length Q. Elisabeth having surpassed the difficulties of her 
entry into Government laid hold" on the first opertunity to 
prosecute & improve the discoveries of her Royall Grand- 
father, sending first Captaine White, S r . Walter Raleigh, 
S 1 : Geo. Summers, S^ Humfrey Gilbert, Sf Richard Green- 
ville, Captaine Hunt, ST Thomas Gates, j and many other per- 
sons of qualety, to possess what was before discovered, most 
of w c . h persons perished in those designes w^ the loss of at least 

* Hakluyt, who must have known Adams, says he was an Englishman. — Eds; 
f A number of these persons distinguished' themselves in the reign of James I. 
rather than in that of Elizabeth. — Eds. 



five thousand of her then Majesties good subjects. And in the 
4 th of Kinge James of happy memory Henrie Hudson (an 
English gentleman at the proper charge of Sf John Popham, 
Quarles & Jackson (two merchants of London) by the King's 
permission, with three shipps well equipped, perfectly discovered 
all those lands, rivers &? bounded & beinge between y e . East 
end of Longe Island & Delaware Bay and sailed up a fresh 
river with one of his shipps fiftie leagues, discovering many 
places fitt for trade & c . But the shipp beinge cast away and 
he sailinge home for England, there arose a difference between 
the Marriners & the said Hudson, soe that he proceeded to 
some degrees of severity with them, & those persons to be re- 
venged of their cheife, inform'd the aforsaid Quarles & Jack- 
son (cheife justice Popham being dead) that the said Hudson 
had cast away the ship negligently, for w c ? he was imprisoned 
by the said Quarles & Jackson, but quickly sett at liberty by 
an immediate order from his then Majestie ; yet notwithstanding 
the said Hudson finding Court afairs delatory (his pretence) 
went soon after into Holland and sold his Maps & cards to the 
Dutch ; notwithstanding, the Dutch (for fear of Hudson) should 
be in future times an evidencer against them, cruelly committed 
him to the sea in a small boate, after they had got what they 
could of him, who the yeare following takinge the opertunity, 
presumed to send two shipps to trade w^ the natives of Hud- 
son's River (w c . h was called after his name), w ! 1 trade proved 
very beneficiall to the sd Dutch, soe that yf yeare following they 
continewinge y^ factory and his Majestye having notice of the 
same (although his Majestie was naturally inclined to peace) 
commissioned & commanded Sr Samuel Argoll (in his voyage 
to Virginia whither he was bound) to stop at the said Hudson's 
River and to demand satisfaction of the said Dutch or any other 
straingers that should be there trading, and forwarne them for 
•the future upon confiscation of ship & goods, w c . h was accord- 
ingly effected.* 

* This singularly confused account of Henry Hudson will impress the reader as 
containing matter not hitherto included in his numerous biographies. If not a sheer 
invention of the compiler of these "notes," it is difficult to see from what sources the 
nurrative is drawn. The earliest authority for this visit of Argall to the Hudson River 
is the "New-Albion," 1648. — Eds. 

1868.] COLONIAL PAPERS. 385 

Now in the yeare 1620 the difference formerly between Arch- 
bishop Whitgift & M r Cartwright, the leader of the Non-con- 
formists, & others about Church matters, was againe revived, 
soe that many persons removed into Holland for liberty of 
conscience, where afterwards beinge desirous to inlarge his 
Majesties empire in the west parts of the world, they in order 
thereunto, hyred a ship at Tarnere * in Zealand of 500 tunns 
to transport themselves, beinge the number of 460 persons, j to 
Hudson's river aforesaid, or the west end of Longe Island, 
havinge bene informed they were places of incouragement, in 
respect of the temperature of aire, scituation & conveniency 
for tradinge. But the Dutch w ch transported the said English 
brake faith w f . h them most perfidiouslye, landinge them, contrary 
to yf agreement at their shippinge, 140 leagues from the place, 
N.E. in a barren Countrey, since called Plymouth Colonie in 
New England, J where the Dutch havinge thus deceitfully lodged 
our English, they in the latter end of the same yeare 1621, 
settled a Dutch factorie in the said Hudson's River, through 
fraud & trechery, to the wearinge out of our English interest in 
that place, and contrary alsoe to theire engagement given to 
S r Samuell Argoll that they would come thether noe more. 
Soe that in pursuance of the said engagement, all they have 
there, both shipps & goods, stands lyable to confiscation. 

Moreover from the yeare 1632 to the yeare '38 there were 
severall hearings before his Maj^then Councill, occasioned by 
one Colonell Powell, in which buisness his then Majestie 
(Charles the first of glorious memory) was very senceable as to 
the past & present abuses and future inconveniencies, but by 
the spetious promises of the said Dutch, with the assistance 
of the Dutch salvo, the buisness, viz. of asserting the King's 

* TerVere? — Eds. 

t It is needless to point out to the intelligent reader the errors in this paragraph; 
but it would be interesting to know where the statements originated. — Eds. 

| The Pilgrims were not transported to New England by the Dutch, but by an 
English Captain (Jones), hh-ed by the Pilgrims. Morton, in his '' Memorial," 1669, 
p. 12, first put in print this story of Dutch treachery, in a little different form from the 
above ; viz., that Jones had been bribed by the Dutch to land the Pilgrims north of 
the place of their destination. — Eds. 



interest so as to have possession thereof, was obstructed and 
afterwards the buisness not minded by reason of the cruell & 
unnaturall troubles that brake foorth amongst us, nevertheless as 
if they stood possessed there by right or had been borne Princes 
of the Place. It is incredible with what injurious insolency 
towards the English, as well as treachery to the poor natives 
they proceed to the accomplishinge their designes, for not to 
mention many villanies we shall instance only this of which 
there is ample testimony, that Anno 1638 Daniell How and his 
associates purchased divers lands of the natives of the West 
end of Longe Island & settled the same, but the then Dutch 
Governor Keift forcibly drove divers of them from their pos- 
sessions & imprisoned others of them to their very great dam- 
mage,* whereupon the Sachem or Chief Indian that sold the said 
English the Lands declared publiqlie, that he had sold the Eng- 
lish that land, for which assertion the said Dutch cruelly mur- 
dered the said Native Prince, stakinge him alive to the dishonour 
of his Majestie & prejudice of his Crowne. Moreover the said 
Dutch have frequently imprisoned such English as would not 
owne allegiance to the state of Holland, fetchinge them of from 
their lawfull possessions. And within thes six yeares they entred 
forcebly upon a towne purchased by one Pell f (an English gen- 
tleman) of the native Prince, at the charge of £500 starlinge, 
who had peopled the same with English at his & their very 
great charge, many of which people were imprisoned by the 
said Dutch for refusinge the Oath imposed by them, & others 
wounded y* opposed the Dutch usurpation, and many have been 
since fined considerable somes, soe that our Countrymen being 
overawed and inslaved by them are constrayned to stand still & 
see this high dishonor done to his Maj tie & the trade wrested 
out of the hands of the Merchants of England, as may be seen 
by this briefe account of the returne made by the Dutch the 
last yeare, 1662, from thence into Holland viz : the shipp Otter, 
this being the miserable estate of the English interest & affairs 
in that part of the world its humbly conceived it calls aloud 

* See Brodhead's "New York," pp. 298, 300, 760. — Eds. 
t Ibid., pp. 627, 733. — Eds. 


upon us for remedy that we may noe longer sustaine the intol- 
erable disgrace done to his Maj ty (as far as his Ma tic is culpable 
of suffringe by the intrusion of such monsters and the exceed- 
inge dammage to his subjects by these bold usurpers. 

Janu: 29th (63). 

Having discoursed w*? severall persons very well acquainted Colonial 
w 1 ! 1 the affairs of New England & some of them having lately No. 45? 
inhabited on Long Island, where they have yett an interest, by 
the best information wee can gaine, wee find 

That the Dutch upon those Colonies doe not exceede thirteene 
hundred men. 

That the English whoe live intermixed w 1 ? them are about 
six hundred men. 

That some part of the Colony of Newhaven is distant about 15 
leagues, where at present M* Wintrop commands, from whence 
& from the East end of Long Island (w c . h consisteth of English) 
may bee gathered in 8 or 9 dayes time, 1300 or 1400 men, 
besides other English w c . h (they affirme) will come freely from 
other Colonies & some probability of engaging the Indians if 
need require. Soe that it seemes very probable that the Dutch 
may either be reduced to his Majesties obedience or dispossessed 
of their usurped dwellings & Forts, if his Majesty shall bee 
pleased to send three ships w 1 ! 1 about 300 Land soldiers under 
good officers w*? other provisions as followeth — 

Firelockes 500 Match Lockes 500 

Pikes 200 Paires of Pistolls .... 50 

Carabins 50 Saddles, Bridles & Bitts . 50 

Mortar pieces 2 Brasse sakers w'! 1 field car- 

Barrills of powder ... 60 riages 2 

Pickaxes 200 Match & bullett proportion 1 ? 6 

Axes & Hatchetts each . 24 Spades & Shovells . . . 300 

Wheelebarrowes in quarters 50 Sawes single & double each 6 

Ordinary Tents .... 50 Hand basketts 100 

Halberts 24 Chirurgions Medecines to 

Drummes 6 the value of £40 : 

Colours 3 Nailes & other iron worke 

Flint stones . . . one barrill to the value of £40. 



The pay of 3 companies w 1 ? 1 Officers according to his Majes- 
ties establishment heere in England amounts per mensem 
to . . 369 . 12. 00. 

Besides victualls for their transportation. 

If it shall be thought fitt to proceed in this designe it will 
bee necessary that letters bee sent from his Majesty to the 
severall Provinces in New England, commanding them to bee 
aiding & assisting (by all meanes w^in their power) to such as 
his Majesty shall employ in this designe & that all possible 
diligence bee used in the dispatch, in regard the season will 
bee proper for it w^in one monethe or 6 weekes at the farthest. 

Jo. Berkeley. 
G. Carteret. 



Charles R. 
Colonial Our Will & Pleasure is, That you forthwith prepare a Bill 
for Our Royall Signature, to passe Our Privy Seale, Warrant- 
ing & authorizeing the Trearer & Under Trearer of Our Ex- 
chequer for the Time being, out of such Our Treasure as now 
is or hereafter shall be remaineing in the Receipt of Our said 
Exchequer, to pay or cause to be paid unto Our Right Trusty 
& Wellbeloved Councellour Sf George Carteret Knt & Bart 
Our Treasurer of Our Navy or his Assignes, the sume of foure 
thousand pounds for & towards preparacons to be made for the 
service by us intended in New England, the same to be by him 
received by way of Imprest & upon accompt. And for soe 
doeing this shall be Yo5 Warrant. Given att Our Court att 
Whitehall the 29^ day of February In y? sixteenth yeare of 

No. 45 

Our Reigne 166|. 

By his Ma ti . es Coniand 

Henry Bennet. 

To the Clerke of 

Our Signet attending. 

£4000 for p r paracons in New England. 

1868.] COLONIAL PAPERS. 389 

Sir Geo. Downing to Sec. Sir H. Bennett. Holland, 

No. 227. 
Ha';ue, 15 April, 1664. 

There is a ship come to Amsterdam yesterday from New (Extract). 
Netherlands which bringes newes that y® English have taken 
possession of the South River there & driven the Hollanders 

Same to Same. Holland, 

6 May, 1664. No " 228 ' 

This afternoon I have been w*? Mons 1 ! Dewitt, he told me 
they had a great allarme about a new buisness viz* that the 
English should be now about sending to take New Netherland. 
I replyed that I knew of no such Country but only in the 
Mapp, that indeed if their people were to be beMeved all the 
world were New Netherland, but that when that buisness shall 
be looked after, it will be found that y e . English had the first 
pattent & possession of those parts. 

Sir Geo. Downing to Sec. Sir H. Bennett. Holland, 

No. 229. 
16 Sept. 1664. 

Yan Goch writt them word in one of his letters that a cer- 
taine Dutch skipper that was then come to London called Claes 
Brett had gott trade att Virginia & loaded his ship there un- 
der an Englishman's name ; it were good this buisness were 
examined strictly & how this should be for the deterring of 
others ; by y e . said letter he saith y* he had unloaded a ketch 
of tobacco at Jersey, over & above withall he reported that 
the English under j e . comand of one Captaine Scott should 
have taken Long Island, by Commission from his Royall 

Van Gogh writes from Chelsea 24 Oct. 1664, "There is Vol. 230. 
also another rumour that there should be a ship arrived at Fal- 

* The English fleet, sent out under the command of Nichols, to reduce New Nether- 
land, did not sail from England till more than a month after the date of this letter; but 
the rumor of the action of Captain Scott and his associates on Long Island, the Jan- 
uary preceding, may have taken the form expressed in Downing's letter. See Brod- 
head's "New York," pp. 726, 727. — Eds. 


mouth come from the New Netherlands with some Inhabitants 
of the Long Island to be sent for Holland." 

31 Oct. '64. 

Here was a report th' other day that in Mounts Bay a place 
in the West of England there had bin a ship come in belong- 
ing to Amsterdam w c . h came from New Netherland & which 
had divers familyes & inhabitants of New Amsterdam aboard 
of her w c . h came all thence because they refused to live undf 
the English Govern*. 

Colonial To Our trusty § wellbeloved Collonell Richard Nicholls 8? to y e . rest 
"So/Sl. °f O ur Gomiss r f appointed by us for y e . visiteing Our Colonies of 

New England fy? and to every of them. 

Charles R. 

Trusty & wellbeloved, Wee greet you well. In Our late 
letters Wee warned you to apply yoTselfes to all meanes of 
secureing those our Plantacons from yl hostility es of y e . Dutch, 
as likewise y^ shipps tradeing from thence. And since haveing 
cause to apprehend that y e . French may upon their account 
breake with us, Wee thought it fitt to warne you betimes to 
observe y^ same cautions & circumspections towards them, and 
further to authorise you, as Wee doe sufficiently by these pres- 
ents, to damnify them to y e utmost of y r . power in their ad- 
jacent Plantacons. Your owne prudence will direct y" to execute 
this with as much privacy as y e . nature of y e . undertaking will 
endure, y e . whole management whereof Wee leave to yo!" better 
order, not being able to direct you particularly therein at this 
distance. And so Wee bid you farewell. Given att Our Court 
at Oxford y* 5* day of Decemb. in y e . 17* yeare of our Reign e 
1665. By his Ma^ s Comand 

Comissrs of New England. 

1868.] COLONIAL PAPERS. 391 

To the Kings most Excellent Mu'\ e . Colonial 

No. 45. 

The humble Peticon of John Scott, John Winthrop, Simon 

Broadstreet, Daniel Denison, Josias Winslow, Thomas Wil- 

let & Eichard Lord Esq r . 9 

That yoT Ma 11 ? 3 Peticoners with many others purchased divers 
Lands of the Natives in the Naviganset Country in New Eng- 
land for a valuable consideration and were quietly seised of the 
same some yeares and have in many places built and planted 
upon the said Lands, Inlarging yof Ma ti . es Empire as in duty 
they are' bound. But this last year 1662 many turbulent 
spirited Phanaticks, Inhabitants of Road Island, have disturbed 
YoT Ma 11 . 68 Peticoners by cutting downe their Houses in th^ 
night and many other unheard of wayes by which yo r . Ma 11 ? 8 
Peticoners are discouraged from making any further progress 
unless they have yo5 Ma 11 ? 8 protection. 

The Peticoners doe therefore humbly pray That Yo r Ma tj . e 
would be gratiously pleased to grant them YoT Ma 11 ? 3 Letter to 
Your Colonies of the Mattechusetts & Conectecut, or what other 
way Yo5 Ma ti . e in your Wisdome shall think fit, for releiving 
Yof M& u ? poor Supliants. 

And your Peticoners shall ever pray &?.* 

[Original Draft in Sir J. Williamson's hand.'] Colonial 


Trusty & wellb. Wee greet y 1 ? well. Whereas Wee have No - 45 - 
been given to und e stand that our good Subj 1 . 3 Th: ChifF. Jo. [ab* 1663.] 
Scott & c . W™ Hudson & their Associates haveing in y^ right of 
Majo r Atherton a just propriety in yf Navagancett Countrey in 
New England, by Grants from y? Native Princes of that Coun- 
trey & being desirous to improve that Countrey into an Eng- 
lish Colony & Plantacon to yf inlargeing of Our Empire & 
y e . comon good of Our Subj ts , they are yet dayly disturbed & 
unjustly molested in their possession & honest & laudable en- 

* The original from which this was copied is a most beautiful piece of pen- 
manship. — W. N. S. 


deav r .% by certaine unreasonable & turbulent Spirits of Provi- 
dence Colony in New Engl d afores d to y? great scandall of 
Justice & Govern* & yf emin* discouragem* of that hopefull 
Plantacon. Wee have thought fitt hereby effectually to re- 
cofnend the s d Propriet 1 ". 8 to yof Neighbo r ly kindnesse & pro- 
teccon Willing y? to be on all occasions assisting to them ag* 
such unjust oppressions & molestacons, that so they may be 
secured in yf full & peaceable* of their said Countrey according 
to y? right & title they have to it. Wherein Wee will not doubt 
of yof readynesse & care & shall on all good occasions expresse 
how graciously wee accept of yo r complyance w 1 ! 1 this oT re- 
comendacon, And so Wee bid y™ farewell. Given &?. 

Original Document. 

New Eng- First, that this plantation was at first undertaken as others 
by his Ma ties Lfes patents, & for the enlargement, greatnes & 
safetie of his Ma ti ? s Empire. 

2 d . ly , that the rest of his Ma d ? 8 dominions are much enfased 
by it, heere being all materialls at hand to furnish England 
w* shipping w c . h the timber of England may in a few yeares 
faile to doe. And that for his Ma ties profit it is like to bee verie 
great from hence by the trade of fishing & beaver w c . h may 
yearelie bee transported into England. 

3 rd . ly , that having found that the paucitie of inhabitants in 
Virginia, the scatteredness of villages &> the profane & de- 
bauched lives of his Ma t! ? s subjects ther have not onlie hindred 
that plantation but even caused the Indians themselves to blas- 
pheme Christianitie as that of the Spaniards formerly did in 
the West Indies, they have endeavoured to plant themselves 
neare together to encreas ther numbers by voluntarie Adven- 
turers & keepe some strict discipline amongst themselves after 
the example of the reformed Churches, soe to winn the verie 
Indians themselves. 


1868.] COLONIAL PAPERS. 393 

4 th . ly , What good effects this hath wrought amongst the 
Indians heere recite at large that memorable storie of that 
yong Indian Prince or Sagemores sonne whome Mf Williams 
educated & over whome two of ther witches weere assured by 
the Devill they had noe power over him as long as hee was in 
his custodie. 

5*^, That they daylie offer upp ther praiers in publike as 
often as they meete, for the long, happie, & gracious government 
of his sacred Ma tj . e , the prosperitie of his roall Consort & prince- 
lie posteritie, Desiring nothing more next the glorie of God 
himselfe then the Honour & safetie of his Ma ti . e & his Dominion 
by .this ther perillous adventuring. — Brit. Mus. y Harleian, 
167, fol. 105. 


[Abstracts made by Mr. Sainsbury, from the original documents in 
the Record Office, London."] 

Petition of the subjects falsely called Brownists to the Privy [1597?] 
Council, for leave to emigrate to Canada, where they may wor- 
ship God according to their conscience, do Her Majesty and 
their Country good service, and greatly annoy the bloody and 
persecuting Spaniard about the bay of Mexico. Are natural 
born subjects, and true and loyal, but many of them are now 
lying in other Countries exiled, and the rest greatly distressed 
through imprisonment &? only for matters of conscience. — 
Domestic Elizabeth, vol. 246, No. 56. 

N.B.* — This petition has no date, but by an entry in the 
Council Register we find it was sent in 1597. Their petition 
was granted ; and they sailed in the Hopewell and Chance well, 
and settled on an island called Raine in the Gulf of St. Law- 

This voyage was u«der the command of Charles Leigh, and is 
printed in Hakluyt, vol. iii. pp. 242-249. The two vessels were 

* These comments, to p. 395, are by Mr. Sainsbury. — Eds. 


"set to sea at the sole and proper charge of Charles Leigh and 
Abraham Van Herwick of London, merchants." They left 
Falmouth 28 April, and 18 May were on the bank of New- 
foundland. On the 23 r ? the Chancewell was cast away " upon 
the maine of Cape Breton, within a great bay, 18 leagues 
within the Cape, and upon a rocke within a mile of the shore." 
The Hopewell having fished successively at the isle of Menego 
to the north of Cape Breton and at Brian's island, arrived 18 
June at Ramea. Here they gave umbrage to the French, 
who assaulted the English, and the Indians being ready to do 
so, a parley ensued, and the contest subsided.* 

In Sept. 1592, In an Address of the gentry of Suffolk to 
the Privy Council on the state of the Church, The writers, 
" as magistrates " say they do not allow the Papists their 
treacheries, subtil ties and heresies, nor the Family of Love, 
an egg of the same nest, nor the Anabaptists, nor JBrownists, 
the overthrowers of the church and commo?i weal, but abhor 
& punish all these. The adversary has cunningly christened 
them with an odious name, nor rightly applied, that they being 
occupied in defence of their innocency, the others might have 
greater freedom to go about their hateful treacheries. The 
name is puritanism, which they detest, as compounded of all 
the heresies before mentioned. — Dom. Eliz. vol. 243, No. 25. 

In April following (1593), "A Bill was preferred against the 
Barrowists and Brownists,. making it felony to maintain any 
opinions against the Ecclesiastical Government, which by means 
of the bishops passed the Upper House, but was found so cap- 
tious by the Lower House that it was thought that it never would 
have passed in any sort, & that all the Puritans would have 
been drawn within its compass, but by earnest labouring of 
those who sought to satisfy the bishop's humours, it is passed, 
to this effect ; that whosoever is an obstinate recusant, refuses to 
come to Church, & denies the Queen's power in ecclesiastical 
causes, or is a keeper of conventicles,, being convicted, is to 
abjure the realm within three months & lose all his goods &> 

* Holmes's Annals, i. p. 115. 


lands ; if he return without license it shall be felony ; they 
think that then it will not reach any man deserving favor. — 
Bom. Eliz. vol. 244, No. 124. 

On 12 June, 1593, We read that "Penry son of Martin 
Marprelate was hanged lately, as two of the principal Brownists, 
Barrow & Greenwood were hanged before, so that that sect is 
in effect extinguished." — Dom. Eliz. vol. 245, No. 30. 

These extracts are sufficient, I think, to account for the 
Petition of the "subjects falsely called Brownists" above- 

The President read extracts from letters he had re- 
cently received from Charles J. Hoadly, Esq., Librarian 
'of the State Library of Connecticut, as follows : — 

" Hartford, Nov. 27, 1868. 

" I beg leave to inquire of you, whether among the ' Winthrop Pa- 
pers ' there is any journal of the Governor and Council of Connecticut 
during the time of the administration of Fitz John Winthrop, or any 
portion or copy of such journal ; and if there is, whether you would 
kindly permit me to copy it for publication. 

" I am now engaged in continuing the publication of the Colonial 
Records of Connecticut from the point where Mr. Trumbull left off, — 
that is, June, 1689 ; and my present purpose is to bring them down to 
the year 1715. I shall include with the public records so much of the 
Council Journal of Governor Treat's time as is recorded, and the Coun- 
cil Journal during the time of Governor Saltonstall. There is a break 
in these journals from May, 1698, when Fitz John Winthrop was first 
elected Governor, extending over the whole time of his administra- 
tion. These journals were not kept by the Secretary of the Colony. 
The Council usually sat where the Governor resided, and had its own 
clerk. It is not probable that the Council Journal of Fitz John Win- 
throp's time was ever in the Secretary's office. I understand that one 
volume of the Council Journal, of the time of Governor Saltonstall, 
was placed in the office of the Secretary of this State within thirty 

" Hartford, Nov. 30, 1868. 

" I write now to acknowledge your kindness in lending me a manu- 
script, which has come to hand safely. It is not a Council Journal, as 


I had hoped, but a copy of the laws of Connecticut from 1673 (origin- 
ally, before the first leaf was torn off) to 1698, and was once probably 
bound with a copy of the Laws of Connecticut, edition of 1673. It is, 
as I think, in the handwriting of Richard Christophers, of New London, 
and contains nothing but what is already in print except a law on page 
7, as the manuscript now is, relating to Oppression, — a law which is 
not found ou the Colony Records. 

" When Mr. Trumbull, in 1852, published his second volume of 
Colonial Records, he had no idea that any thing was omitted from the 
record, nor did the means exist in the State House for making a collation 
of the laws. In 1856, the heirs of Hon. Thomas Day presented to this 
library, with other books, a copy of the edition of the laws of Connecti- 
cut, 1673, with manuscript additions to 1701, on an examination of 
which it was found that several laws were there found which were not 
on the regular record. In the volumes of Records which have been 
printed since the second, all the omitted laws have been printed which 
fell within the time covered by those volumes (1677-1706). 

" Ten days since, I was so fortunate as to come into the possession 
of a copy of the laws of Connecticut printed in 1673, with a manuscript 
appendix similar to the manuscript lent me by you, in the hand- 
writing of Secretary John Allyn himself. 

" Beside the Council Journal of Governor Fitz John Winthrop's 
time, I am very desirous of seeing a copy of certain laws from 1702, 
which were printed at New London by Thomas Short in 1709 or 
1711. If you should happen to have a copy of that book, I would be 
glad to know it. 

" I notice that John Winthrop was several times called to sit in 
Council in the year 1713, and was a Justice of the Peace. In vol ii. 
of the manuscript Records of the Court of Assistants, under date of 
May, 1702, is entered an action of John Wilson, of Rye, N.Y., and 
Mary, his wife, against Samuel and Joseph Lyon, of Greenwich, as 
heirs of Thomas Lyon, of certain land in Greenwich, which was deliv- 
ered to Thomas Lions atturney in right of Thomas Lions former wife, 
M rs Martha Johanna Winthrop, it being her maiden name. I do not 
find this lady mentioned in Savage, and possibly this marriage with 
Lyon may be new to you." 

" Hartford, Dec. 3, 1868. 

" I take pleasure in acknowledging the receipt of ninety-two papers, 
ranging in date from 1647 to 1726, loaned by you to me for historical 
purposes, and which, with the manuscript of laws received last week, 
I hold subject to your call or order. 


" Of the documents sent, about one-half are copies of records, the 
greater part of which have been printed by Mr. Trumbull or myself. 
There are, however, some copies of records, the originals of which no 
longer exist in the Secretary's office ; the remainder are almost all inter- 
esting and valuable, — some of them I wish that I had seen six months 
ago, before the publication of my volume. I was particularly pleased 
with the commission to John Winthrop to act as magistrate at Pequot, 
1647, because it had an impression of the Colony Seal fifteen years 
older than any we had hitherto known, and nine years before any men- 
tion of the seal occurs on our records. I have not yet had time to give 
the papers a careful reading, but enough to see that some of them are 
quite important. 

" By mail herewith I send a copy of the fourth volume of the ' Colo- 
nial Records of Connecticut,' 1689-1706, to your address, for the His- 
torical Society. I expect to have a few copies of a ' History of Connecticut 
during the Rebellion' put into my hands before long for exchanges, 
&c, and shall be pleased to forward one to the Society." 

The thanks of the Society were returned to Mr. Hoadly 
for the volume of Records presented to the Library. 

The President spoke of a letter he had recently re- 
ceived from the Hon. Hugh B. Grigsby, of Virginia, one 
of our Corresponding Members, from which he read the 
following extract : — 

" You must not allow your absence to relieve you from the office of 
commemorating the worth of Mr. Rives, and of Governor Coles, from 
the chair of the Historical Society. Governor Coles was a pure man, 
who sacrificed all his hereditary wealth to his principles, having eman- 
cipated all his slaves in his early life. He was the intimate of Jefferson 
when in his youth ; was the confidential secretary and friend of Madison, 
and the friend of Monroe. He was the cause of the reconciliation of 
Madison and Monroe, and thereby of Monroe's election to the Presi- 
dency. He was sent on an official mission by Madison to Russia, and 
was the second Governor of Illinois as a State. He was always pleased 
with historical studies, and was very diligent in the preparation of what 
he gave to the press. In his domestic life he was very lovely. 

" A year or less before Mr. Rives's death, he sent me quite an elabo- 
rate sketch of his life from his birth to 1821, when he entered Con- 
gress. His character, too, was very lovely. I feel daily the loss of such 
a man." 


The President said that he should not have required 
the kind suggestions of this letter to induce him to bear 
testimony to the varied excellences of those to whom it 
referred. He had been privileged to know them both 
as friends for many years past, and was no stranger either 
to their public services or their private virtues. Virginia, 
certainly, had sent no more accomplished statesman to 
the councils of the nation during the last half-century 
than Mr. Rives ; nor had any one represented our coun- 
try abroad with more distinction than he had done, at two 
most important periods, at the Court of France. There 
is good authority for believing that his influence with 
Lafayette, then in command of the whole National Guard 
of France, was decisive in regard to the course which 
was adopted in 1830, in placing Louis Philippe on the 
French throne.* Mr. Rives was well known to have 
opposed Secession with great earnestness in letters and 
addresses to the people ; but after the Rebellion was 
once undertaken, he followed the fortunes of his native 
State, and became a member of the Confederate Con- 
gress. He had devoted his latter years to the " Life and 
Times of James Madison," a third volume of which has 
been published since his death. Whatever differences of 
opinion there may be as to some of his views in regard 
to men or measures, this work has been everywhere 
welcomed as a very able and important contribution to 
our constitutional and political history, and no one will 
fail to regret that the author did not live to complete it. 
He was born in Nelson County, Virginia, May 4, 1793 ; 

* See " Biographie Universelle," Michaud, Nouvelle Edition, Tome 22. Art. "La- 


was educated at Hampden Sidney and William and 
Mary's Colleges ; and died on the 25th of April last, aged 
seventy-five years, leaving a most enviable character as 
a Christian gentleman. His death was announced to 
this Society by Colonel Aspinwall in May last, and an 
appropriate tribute paid to his memory. 

The Hon. Edward Coles lived to a still more advanced 
age, dying at Philadelphia on the 7th of July last, at the 
age of eighty-one years. He was a man of most amiable 
and genial temperament, who had enjoyed the friendship 
and confidence of many of the most eminent men of Vir- 
ginia and of the whole country. While a student at Wil- 
liam and Mary's College, he was led to question the right of 
man to hold property in man, and he resolved to eman- 
cipate any share of his father's slaves which might fall to 
him. Keeping this resolution secret during his father's 
lifetime, — lest this portion of his inheritance should be 
diverted from him in order to defeat his plan, — he car- 
ried out his purpose in 1819, emancipating his negroes 
on a flat-boat on the Ohio River, while he was trans- 
porting them to Illinois, where he provided them with 
land and money, and put them in the way of earning 
their own living. He was afterwards sued for bringing 
negroes into Illinois for the purpose of emancipation, 
and condemned to pay two hundred dollars for each 
negro ; but after several years the judgment was re- 
versed. Meantime, in 1822, he had been elected Gov- 
ernor of the State, and had taken a very leading part in 
the struggle to prevent the introduction of slavery into 
the North-west Territory. Of that struggle, and of his 


own share in it, he has given the following account in 
his "History of the Ordinance of 1787," a very inter- 
esting paper prepared by him for the Historical Society 
of Pennsylvania : — 

In Illinois, which was separated from Indiana, and organ- 
ized first as a Territorial Government in 1809, and then as a 
State Government, and was admitted into the Union in 1818, 
the strife was continued with more or less violence. It was 
strongly displayed in the election of the Convention to form a 
constitution for the new State, when an effort was made 
before the people, and a still greater one in the Convention, 
to authorize the toleration of slavery in the State. In this, 
its advocates failed ; but, not despairing of ultimate success, 
they continued their efforts until 1822, when it was made the 
controlling question in the election of that year. And although 
I, the anti-slavery candidate, was elected Governor, the 
Legislature wanted but one member to have a majority of 
two-thirds in each House, in favor of submitting the question 
to the people, whether there should be a convention called for 
altering the constitution ; this one member was obtained in 
what I consider an unprecedented manner. Thus the ques- 
tion was submitted to the people under the influence of a 
two-thirds vote of the Legislature. Under the provisions of 
the constitution of 1818, when two-thirds of the members 
of each House of the Legislature should submit the question 
to the people, if a majority of the voters at the next election 
should be in favor of it, a convention was to be called to 
revise the constitution. 

The introduction of slavery was not openly avowed by all 
the advocates of a convention, as the object in view; but it 
was well known to be so, and not denied by many, though 
there were certainly other objections to the constitution of 


1818, which had their influence in increasing the desire for a 
convention to alter it. When this question came before the 
people, it produced peculiarly intense excitement, always 
attendant on the agitation of the question of the extension of 
slavery ; and which in this case was increased by the manner 
in which it had passed the Legislature ; and the advantage 
intended to be taken of a temporary inequality in the repre- 
sentation, whereby portions of the State favorable to slavery 
would have a greater influence in the Convention than they 
were justly entitled to. Having been placed in the lead, by 
the station assigned me, and my opinions and feelings being 
so warmly opposed to slavery as to make me leave my native 
state (Virginia), I soon placed my pen and exertions in 
requisition, and brought them to bear, doing all I could 
personally and officially, to enlighten the people of Illinois, 
and prevent their making it a slave-holding State. I trust I 
shall meet with indulgence from the zeal I have always felt 
in the cause, for adding, that it has ever since afforded me 
the most delightful and consoling reflections, that the abuse 
I endured, the labor I performed, and the anxiety I felt, were 
not without their reward ; and to have it conceded by 
opponents as well as supporters, that I was chiefly instru- 
mental in preventing a call of a convention, and making 
Illinois a slave-holding State. We were sustained by a 
majority of about 1,600 votes of the people, at the general 
election in August, 1824 ; and thus terminated the last 
struggle, the last effort of the slave party, to defeat the wise 
and philanthropic purposes of the Ordinance of 1787. 

The President remarked, in conclusion, that he owed 
to Governor Coles an introduction to Mr. Madison, with 
whom he spent a couple of days at Montpelier, in 1832 ; 
and he could bear testimony to the very warm regard 
which was cherished by that illustrious statesman for his 



old private secretary and friend. Governor Coles was 
born at the family mansion of " Enniscorthy," on the 
Green Mountain, Albemarle County, Virginia, on the 
15th December, 1786. 

The President announced the death of Don Manuel 
Moreno, M.D., a Corresponding Member, who died on the 
18th of December, 1857, set. 77 ; but the fact of whose 
decease had only at this late day come to our knowledge. 
Don Manuel Moreno was born in Buenos Ayres about 
the year 1780. In January, 1811, he went to England 
as first secretary to his brother, who was a representative 
of the then existing Buenos-Ayres Government to the 
Court of St. James. In April, 1815, he was banished by 
order of the government, and ca'me to the United States, 
where he remained until 1821, when he returned to 
Buenos Ayres. In the year 1828, he went to England 
as Charge d' Affaires. 

Dr. Ellis stated, that, at the last meeting of the 
American Antiquarian Society, it had been proposed 
to get up an expedition next summer to Gosnold's 
Island of " Cuttyhunk," in Buzzard's Bay. A com- 
mittee of three had been appointed to confer with a 
similar committee from this Society, if it should be 
concurred in ; and he moved that such a committee 
be now appointed. 

At the suggestion of the President, the subject of 
appointing this committee was referred to the Standing 

Mr. Sibley exhibited a fragment of an original Harvard 
College Monitor's Bill, for the years 1664-67 (of 




which a copy is given below), and read the follow- 
ing communication respecting it from Mr. Franklin 
Bowditch Dexter, Tutor and Assistant Librarian in Yale 

The enclosed paper* was found, Sept. 20, 1867, in a Latin 
Commentary on the Minor Prophets, which forms one of a 

* Harvard- College Monitor's Bill. 




























Flynt . . 







Pynchon . 


























Est ab rook 



Street . . 


Eliot . . 




Man . . . 



Fox . . . 













Jacoms . . 





Browne . 



Pynchon . 










Filar . . 

Browne . 





Mason . . 











Atkinson . . 







Foster . . 


Noyce . . 





series by Rudolph Walther, the Swiss Protestant Theologian, 
in Yale College Library. The volume (of which the title is, 
" In Prophetas Duodecim quos vocant Minores, Rodolphi 
Gualtheri Tigurini Homilias. Editio tertia. Tiguri,MDLXXii." 
Folio.) was supposed by President Stiles to have been among 
the books given to the Library at its foundation, and the 
foundation of the College, in 1700, by the Reverend Abraham 
Pierson, of Killingworth (Harv. Coll. 1668), the first Rector. 

Within these leaves, the paper now brought, to light has 
quite probably lain unmolested for over two centuries. One 
might describe it, physically, as a yellow fragment of coarse 
paper, about five inches by four, with three of its edges cut 
true by the knife, and the fourth torn off irregularly. The 
writing upon it is a list of twenty-three surnames, with various 
marks entered under abbreviated headings, in carefully ruled 
columns, against each name. A little attention will satisfy 
one that the list is a list of the twenty-three students who 
were in Harvard College during some one week of the 
academical year 1663-4, representing the classes of 1664, 
1665, 1666, and 1667. 

The manuscript has no divisions into classes ; but, on com- 
paring the Triennial, the first seven names here are seen to 
be the surnames of the seven graduates of 1664, arranged in 
the order in which the catalogue gives them, being that of 
family rank 

Next are the Juniors, class of 1665, who graduated eight ; 
two of which graduates, however (Gov. Joseph Dudley and 
Samuel Bishop), were not present when this list was used. 
The manuscript gives us the remaining six in the order of the 
Triennial Catalogue, and also one additional non-graduate 
member (Jacoms), of whose death in Senior year there is 
record elsewhere. 

Next on the paper are the names of six Sophomores, of 
whom four only graduated in 1666. The two extra names 
are Pynchon and Browne. Savage (Genealogical Diet., iii. 


498) shows that a John Pynchon was two years at Harvard, 
without graduating, at about this period : Browne it may be 
difficult to trace. In this class, apparently, an occasion for 
the not unknown punishment of u degradation " arose, before 
the end of the course. In the printed catalogue, the rank of 
Pilar and Mason is altered from that seen here. 

Three names finish the list, which are found in the same 
order in the class which graduated in 1667, though by that 
time four others had added themselves to that class ; one of 
whom was John Harriman, the son of the New-Haven inn- 
holder, who seems from this to have had, not only his pre- 
paratory, but some of his academical, training, in New Haven. 

We have, then, out of our list of twenty-three, twenty 
who reach graduation, and three who drop out before taking 
their degrees ; while the corresponding classes, as graduated, 
number twenty-six. 

The columns of marks come next : in general, it may be 
said at once, that the bill has a certain family likeness to the 
modern monitor's bill. Over each column is a number, and a 
letter or letters. The first column is numbered 6, then follow 
7, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. From this it appears that the range of 
the numbers was from 1 to 7 : evidently, they stand for the 
seven days of the week. 

The letters above each number are m and n. Thus the 
first column is n 6, the next m 7, the next n 7, the next m 1. 
M and n very probably stand for morning and night (in the 
Latin forms perhaps) ; so that m 7 and n 7 mean morning and 
evening prayers on Saturday. 

This disposes of all abbreviations over the columns, except 
the two which intervene between-ra 1 and n 1 ; that is, between 
morning and evening prayers on Sunday. These are con 1 and 
con 2, clearly for some such word as concio or conventus, used 
for religious meeting. It is noticeable that these two services 
are better attended by far than any other service on the 


The record begins with a Friday evening (n 6), and the 
leaf is torn off abruptly at n 5, or the next Thursday evening ; 
so that it contains only the account of attendance at fourteen 
separate services. Part of the record below n 5 is gone. 
The marks given are with a capital A and T, which, of course, 
stand for Absent and Tardy (perhaps in the Latin forms). 

On holding the paper to the light, one sees that the record 
was taken in the old fashion used in England to this day, a 
pin-hole being made to denote absence, and a second pin-hole 
added if the student came in later ; the marks A and T were 
written subsequently with ink. Sometimes, we see mistakes 
were made, and the tell-tale pin-holes laboriously smoothed 
over until they have almost disappeared. 

In this short week, from Friday to Thursday, there is un- 
fortunately but one of the twenty-three scholars, a Sophomore, 
who is entirely punctual. It should be added, that he became 
a minister, and did not die young. As might be supposed, 
the Seniors are, on the average, the least regular, and the 
Freshmen most so. The most irregular attendant, however, 
is one Jacoms, whose name stands after Chischaui, at the foot 
of the Junior class. Chischaui (or Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck) 
is the sole Indian graduate of Harvard ; and Grookin, in his 
Historical Collections of the Indians in New England (Mass. 
Hist. Coll., I. i. 173), tells the story of Joel (here by his sur- 
name Jacoms), and his violent death in the later part of his 
Senior year. 

Of these twenty-three scholars, the residences of all except 
Browne are known. Seventeen were from the immediate 
neighborhood, within a radius of fifteen miles ; the two 
brothers Pynchon from Springfield ; the two Indians from 
Martha's Vineyard ; and the remaining one from the distant 
New-Haven colony. This was Samuel Street, of the Senior 
class, only son of the Rev. Nicholas Street, the colleague and 
successor of Davenport, in the ministry of the First Church 
of New Haven, from 1659 to 1674. The son was one of the 


earliest teachers of the New-Haven Hopkins Grammar School, 
and then pastor in the adjoining town of Wallingford for over 
forty years, leaving a line of descendants who have remained 
until our time. 

Two others on the list, besides Samuel Street, were to 
become Connecticut pastors ; John Woodbridge at Killing- 
worth and Wethersfield, and Nicholas Noyes at Haddam. 
Other conspicuous names are here : Eliot, the youngest son 
of the Apostle to the Indians ; and Flynt, who became the 
father of the more noted " permanent tutor Flynt," who we 
may remember was invited in 1718 to »become Rector of the 
newly named Yale College, but wisely preferred his easier 
berth at Cambridge. 

The chief question that remains is, How did this scrap of 
paper come to New Haven? But only conjectures can be 
given in answer. We know that, at the date of the bill, the 
college Faculty consisted of President Chauncy and two or 
three tutors, or fellows. The Corporation Records extant are 
too meagre even to show the names of the tutors. It is quite 
likely that this Monitor's Bill went to the President, and was 
slipped into one of the books of his library. It is also possible 
that after his death, in 1672, this book may have been pur- 
chased by Abraham Pierson, one of his later pupils, of the 
class of 1668, and by him have been given (as President 
Stiles asserts) for " founding a college in this colony." 

It may be added that the handwriting on the bill is not 
that of President Chauncy; also, that it is rather remarkable 
that the volume in which it was found contains no autograph 
or indication of its various possessors, from its birth at Zurich 
to its landing-place in the hands of Dr. Stiles. 

The Library of Yale College, it may be stated in closing, 
has, among other like relics, three interesting books from the 
respective libraries of the three most famous Presidents of 
Harvard College during the seventeenth century. 

First is a copy of the earliest English translation of Euclid's 




Elements (by Henry Billingsley, London, 1570), with 
" Henrici Dunsteri liber . . . price thirty shillings," on the 
titlepage. M 

Then a " Summa Casuum Conscientise," with President 
Chauncy's autograph and motto (also in his own hand), " Qui 
auget scientiam, auget et dolorem." 

And last, the copy of Keckermann's " Systema Logicse," 
from which Increase Mather studied ; and in which he left 
numerous signatures, dated in 1654 and 1656 (his Sophomore 
and Senior years), with specimens of boyish scribbling. 

New Haven, March 30, 1868. 

Note. — To facilitate comparisons, the following list of graduates, with the dates 
of their deaths, so far as known, is subjoined: — 

1664. Deceased. 

Alexander Nowell. A.M., Fellow, 1672 

Rev. Josiah Flint, A.M., 1680 

Joseph Pynchon, A.M., Fellow, 1682 

Samuel Brackenbury, A.M., 1678 

Rev. John Woodbridge, A.B., 1690 

Rev. Joseph Estabrook, A.M., 1711 

Rev. Samuel Street, A.B., 1717 


Benjamin Eliot, A.M., 1687 

Joseph Dudley, A.M., Chief Justice 
of New York, and Governor of 
Massachusetts and New Hamp- 
shire, 1720 
Samuel Bishop, A.B., 1687 
Edward Mitchelson, A.B., 
Rev. Samuel Man, A.B., 1719 
Rev. Hope Atherton, A.B., 1677 
Rev. Jabez Fox, A.M., 1703 


Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, A.B. 


Joseph Browne, A.M., Fellow, 
Rev. John Richardson, A.M., Fel- 

Daniel Mason, A.B., 
John Filer, A.B., 1723 






Rev. John Harriman, A.M., 
Nathaniel Atkinson, A.B., 
John Foster, A.B., 
Rev. Gershom Hobart, A.M., 
Japhet Hobart, A.B., 
Rev. Nehemiah Hobart, A.M., Fel- 
low, 1712 
Rev. Nicholas Noyes, A.M. in 1716, 1717 

1869.] JANUARY MEETING. 409 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, 14th January, at eleven o'clock, 
a.m.; the President in the chair. 

The Recording Secretary read the record of the last 

Donations have been received since the last meeting 
from the United-States Treasury Department ; the State 
of Connecticut ; the State of Rhode Island ; the Amer- 
ican Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions ; the 
Maryland Historical Society ; the New-England Historic- 
Genealogical Society ; the New- Jersey Historical Soci- 
ety ; the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of 
Boston ; the Cretan Committee ; the Editors of the 
"Advocate"; the Publishers of the "Book-Buyer"; 
John Appleton, M. D. ; Henry Barnard, Esq. ; Franklin 
B. Dexter, Esq. ; Professor Charles Drowne ; Family 
of the late Levi Lincoln ; Samuel Gregory, M.D. ; Frank- 
lin B. Hough, M.D. ; General S. E. Marvin; J. B. 
Newcomb, Esq. ; A. R. Spofford, Esq. ; Mrs. J. E. 
Worcester ; and from Messrs. E. B. Bigelow, Green, 
Lawrence, C. Robbins, Smith, and Whitmore, of the 

The President, in the following language, noticed the 
death of two Corresponding Members of the Society. 

The death of our venerable Corresponding Member, Dr. 
Usher Parsons, must not pass unnoticed. Residing at Provi- 
dence, R. I., he was a frequent visitor at our rooms, and has 



more than once attended our meetings and taken part in our 
proceedings. He was born at Alfred, in the then District of 
Maine, 18th August, 1788 ; studied medicine with Dr. John 
C. Warren of this city ; and in 1811 entered the naval service 
of the United States as a surgeon's mate. He was with the 
elder Perry on Lake Erie, and received the special commen- 
dations of the Commodore for his care of the wounded on 
board the flag-ship " Lawrence/ 7 in the brilliant and victorious 
engagement of 10th September, 1813, of which he wrote an 
elaborate account for the Rhode-Island Historical Society. 

He was promoted thereupon to , the full rank of surgeon, 
and lived to be the last surviving officer of Perry's squadron. 
He retired from the navy, however, about the year 1823, and 
accepted a professorship of anatomy at Dartmouth College, 
having married a daughter of the late Dr. Abiel Holmes. 
A few years later, he removed to Providence, and devoted 
himself to general practice as a physician and surgeon, and 
was for some time a professor at Brown University. He took 
a deep interest in everything which related to the American 
Indians ; and many of us cannot fail to remember the en- 
thusiasm which he exhibited in this apartment, when he 
explained some of the remains which had recently been ex- 
humed, and which were supposed to be those of one of the 
family of Ninigret. His most important contribution to 
history was his Life of Sir William Pepperrell, the hero of 
Louisburg, published in 1855. Dr. Parsons died on the 19th 
of December last, at the age of eighty. 

In turning over the Necrology of 1868, contained in the 
" New- York Times," I have observed the record of the death, 
on the 3d of September last, of another of our Corresponding 
Members, the Hon. David L. Swain, LL. D., of North Carolina. 
After serving with distinction as a member of the Legisla- 
ture, as a Judge of the Superior Court, and as Chief Magis- 
trate of the State, Governor Swain was elected President of 
the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, in January, 

1869.] JANUARY MEETING. 411 

1836, and continued to hold that office until his death. Under 
his influence, the University had steadily advanced in repu- 
tation and usefulness, and his loss will be greatly deplored by 
the friends of- the institution. 

Louis-Adolphe Thiers, the French historian, and Ar- 
thur Penrhyn Stanley, D. D., Dean of Westminster, 
London, were elected Honorary Members ; William W. 
Story, Esq., of Rome, was elected a Corresponding Mem- 
ber ; and John Appleton, M. D., of Cambridge, and Rob- 
ert M. Mason, Esq., of Boston, were elected Resident 

Dr. Ellis, from the Committee on the subject of the 
Sewall Diary, reported that the terms offered to the 
family, now in possession of it, had been accepted. 

On motion of Mr. Smith, it was — 

Voted, That the thanks of the Society be expressed 
to the Committee on the Sewall Diary for the pains they 
have taken to secure it for the Society. 

It was also — 

Voted, That the question as to the time and manner 
of publishing the Sewall Diary be referred to a Com- 
mittee, consisting of Dr. Ellis, Professor Washburn, the 
Treasurer, and the Recording Secretary, who are to 
report to the Society. 

Dr. Ellis said that it had been suggested to him that 
some limitation or qualification of his statements and 
views, as expressed in his recent lectures before the 
" Lowell Institute," should be made ; but he had re- 
examined his authorities, and saw nothing in what he 
had said to modify. Still he invited criticism, and would 
be obliged to any one to point out to him any supposed 
errors or overstatements. 


Some conversation ensued, in which Messrs. Salton- 
stall, Hedge, Deane, Parker, Hale, and Paige took t 

The President presented a manuscript copy of the so- 
called " Narraganset Patent" of December 10th, 1643, 
the same which had called forth the discussions of Mr. 
Deane and Colonel Aspinwall at the meetings of the 
Society in February and June, 1862. 

He also presented two ancient manuscript books in 
parchment covers, — one entitled, on the cover, " Wellsh 
Pedigrees," being a genealogy of a number of families, 
some of them with their coats of arms ; the other en- 
titled, on the cover, " G. Owens 7 th book of Collections." 

He communicated, as a gift to the Society from Mr. 
George W. Pearson, of Utica, N.Y., a photograph of 
Daniel Webster, from a daguerreotype taken from life, 
in 1851 ; for which the thanks of the Society were re- 

He also presented a photograph copy of a portrait 
of Benjamin Franklin, by Gainsborough, the property of 
the Marquis of Lansdowne, — the portrait having been 
on exhibition at South Kensington (London) last year. 
The President said that his attention had been particu- 
larly called to this portrait, while in London last summer, 
by Dr. Trench, the eminent author, and Archbishop of 
Dublin, who remarked that it had given him a better 
idea of the peculiar characteristics of our great Bos- 
tonian than any other portrait of him he had ever seen. 

Mr. Adams observed, that, in attending the exhibition 
of pictures at South Kensington, he had noticed this 
portrait of Franklin by Gainsborough, and thought it 

1869.] JANUARY MEETING. 413 

differed from any other picture of Franklin that he had 
ever seen. There was something about the dress, also, 
which struck him as peculiar, the artist representing the 
subject in a bright, embroidered, gilt waistcoat. He 
thought it must be a genuine picture, as it belonged to 
the collection of the Marquis of Lansdowne. This 
portrait indicated marks of character which many of the 
other portraits of Franklin failed to exhibit. Most of 
the pictures of Franklin came from France, and have 
ease and polish, but do not show positive, fixed character. 

The President spoke of a portrait of Franklin, now 
belonging to a gentleman of this city, Mr. Gardner 
Brewer, which once belonged to the family of Richard 
Oswald, one of the Commissioners for negotiating the 
Treaty of Paris, — it having been given by Franklin to 

Mr. E. E. Hale remarked, that Mr. Greenough, the 
sculptor, used to say that Franklin had two faces, — one 
which indicated mirth and fun, and the other that of 
the philosopher, — and he had so represented him in 
his statue of Franklin. 

A letter from Mr. E. Price Greenleaf was read, in 
which he stated that the manuscript diary of Ezekiel 
Price, presented to this Society by Mr. Quincy, in No- 
vember, 1863, really belonged to the Boston Athenaeum, 
it having been presented to that institution by Mr. 
Greenleaf a number of years since. It had been lent 
to Mr. Quincy by the Athenaeum. He requested that 
it be restored. 

Mr. Quincy had indorsed upon the cover of the manu- 
script, "To be delivered to Price Greenleaf, if called 


Whereupon it was unanimously — 

Voted, To restore the Diary of Ezekiel Price to the 
Boston Athenaeum, it having by an inadvertence of Mr. 
Quincy been deposited in the Library of the Historical 

Mr. Folsom. from the Committee to whom were re- 
ferred the manuscripts given by Mrs. Sparks at the 
meeting" in January, 1868, for the purpose of causing 
them to be bound, reported that they had been bound in 
four volumes. 

Mr. Denny, from "the Committee on Memorials of 
the Antiquities of Boston," offered a report, which was 
read, and laid on the table. 

Mr. Deane announced the Memoir of George Liver- 
more, which he had been appointed to prepare for the 
" Proceedings." 





George Livermore, the son of Deacon Nathaniel and Eliza- 
beth (Gleason) Livermore, was born in that part of Cambridge 
called Cambridgeport, in Massachusetts, on the 10th of July, 
1809. He was a descendant of John Livermore, who came 
from Ipswich in England, in 1634, and settled in Watertown 
in this State. 

Mr. Livermore attended the public and private schools at 
Cambridgeport until he was fourteen years of age, pursuing, 
in addition to the common English course, some of the pre- 
paratory studies for admission to college. In a brief auto- 
biographical sketch written during his last sickness, he says : 
" Among my school-mates at the private school was Oliver 
Wendell Holmes, now so widely known as the charming poet 
and prose-writer. The humorous scene described in i The 
Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,' concerning ' the Leghorn 
Hat, 7 the l Port Chuck/ and ' the Race/ is as vivid to my 
memory as if it took place yesterday.' 7 * 

* In some remarks by our associate, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, at a meeting 
of the Society after Mr. Livermore's death, he speaks of this private school, and 
refers to some of those who attended it while he was there. Richard H. Dana, Jr., and 
Margaret Fuller were of the number. "The boys," he says, "were rather a fighting 
set; and our champion, a nephew of the most celebrated of American painters, had 


His constitution being feeble, and his health not good, it 
was thought best that he should abandon the idea of a college 
education, and follow some more active calling. Accordingly, 
at the age of fourteen he left school, and went into the " store " 
of his older brothers, Isaac and Marshall Livermore, mer- 
chants, at Cambridgeport. After this period the only school 
advantages he enjoyed were a course of exercises in English 
and Latin during two terms at the Deerfield Academy, in 

From the time of entering the store, his leisure hours 
were always spent in reading and study ; and all the money 
he could earn was saved for the purchase of books. He thus 
refers to this period of his life. 

" A great many valuable and standard works were published in a 
cheap form, and thus came within the reach of persons of small means. 
I was sometimes allowed an evening to go to Boston and attend the 
book auctions ; and I felt proud and happy when I came home with 
two or three volumes, costing from twenty-five to thirty cents each. 
At these book auctions there was sold, almost every time I was present, 
a thick octavo edition of Shakespeare, with rather coarse wood-cuts. 
The price generally obtained was not far from three dollars. I had read 
the ' Merchant of Venice,' from a borrowed volume of Shakespeare, and 
I thought that an author who could write like that was worth owning 
entire. I saved my money, therefore, till I had three dollars, and went 
to Boston, hoping that a copy of my coveted author might be put up, 
and sold within my means. I was not disappointed. After waiting an 
hour, the auctioneer put up a copy of Shakespeare. The bidding began 
at two dollars and fifty cents, and advanced five cents till it reached 
two dollars and ninety cents, when it was knocked down, and the name 
of the purchaser was called for. I had bid two dollars and ninety cents, 
but another bidder gave his name. I claimed the book, as I had fairly 

at least two regular pitched battles with outside fellows, who challenged the preten- 
sions of the gentlemen of the ' Academy.' George Livermore came among this rather 
rough crowd, the mildest and quietest of boys, — slight, almost feminine in aspect, 
quite alien to all such doings. I do not remember him as conspicuous in any- 
active play, still less as ever quarrelling with anybody. He was a lamb-like creature, 
who made us all feel kindly to him, — this I can remember, and his looks, so delicate 
and gentle." B 


made th6 bid ; and I called out to the auctioneer that I had bid $2.90 
too. 'Ah,' said he, 'if you bid $2.92, the book is yours, as you are the 
highest bidder.' I had no disposition to quibble about his pun, but 
gladly paid two dollars and ninety-two cents, and hurried home with 
my big book under my arm, a prouder and happier boy than I had ever 
been before. This was the Shakespeare which I first read. I marked 
the favorite passages which most impressed me, and noted the pages 
on which they occurred, on the fly-leaf at the end of the volume. I 
kept the volume for many years, when, wishing to own an English 
edition with notes, and not feeling able to keep both, I had the folly 
to exchange it. Many a time have I regretted this. I would, if I 
could, have bought it back, and given for it its weight in gold." 

When quite a young man, he became much interested in the 
character and history of the merchant-scholar, William Roscoe, 
the first account of whom he read in Irving's " Sketch-Book. " 

" I was much pleased," he says, " to find that a man in active busi- 
ness, without a college education, had accomplished so much in litera- 
ture, science, and statesmanship. Roscoe seemed to me to be a model 
which one might well, strive to imitate, at however humble a distance. 
My respect for the abilities, attainments, and character of this remark- 
able man increased with my knowledge of the works he published. 
His life, written by his son, has always been a favorite biography with 
me ; and I have bought a large number of copies to present to young 
friends. When I visited England in 1845, I sought* out the principal 
places connected with his name, and had the good fortune to become 
personally acquainted with many of his friends and descendants." 

In 1829 Mr. Livermore went to Waltham as a salesman in 
a " dry-goods store," where he remained a year, " when, a 
smarter young man offering his services," he returned to 
Cambridge. A change having taken place in his brothers' 
business, he entered the shop of his father, who was a soap- 
manufacturer, and went to work making "fancy soap and 
wash-balls." All his earnings, except what he needed for 
his clothes, he passed over to his father, who was in strait- 
ened circumstances. His father had given him a silver 
watch which cost ten dollars. 



" On the day I was twenty-one years old," he writes, " wishing in 
some way to signalize my majority, I asked my father for a dollar, and 
took a trip in the steamboat to Nahant. The fare was thirty-seven 
and a half cents each way, leaving me but twenty-five cents for other 
expenses. I could not, of course, get a dinner at any public house with 
this sum ; but I managed to find a grocery store, where I got ninepence 
worth of gingerbread and crackers, and a glass of lemonade for six 
cents, which I regarded as a good dinner, and came home with six 
cents in my pocket. This was my start in life." 

Two months later, the person in whose shop at Waltham he 
had served as salesman, called upon him, and urged him to 
return into his employ, saying that the young man who had 
succeeded him did not please the customers as well as he 
had done, and offering him increased pay. The invitation 
was accepted, and Waltham once more became his place of 
residence. The following spring, his employer, Mr. Smith, 
proposed to him to take the business and conduct it on his 
own account for two y T ears, offering fair terms. 

" I hesitated at first," says Mr. Livermore, " about assuming such a 
responsibility ; but my friends advised me not to let so favorable an 
opportunity slip, and on the first of April, 1831, I put up my sign, and 
commenced business on my own account. My brother Isaac lent me 
one thousand dollars as capital to pay Mr. Smith in part for his goods. 
At the end of the two years I returned the one thousand dollars, with 
interest, and had earned nearly twice as much more for my own cap- 
ital with which to begin business elsewhere. I was sorry to give up 
so good a business, but Mr. Smith needed and had a right to the store ; 
and I retired from the scene of my first business experience and success 
as gracefully as I could. 

" The agent of the Waltham factories, learning that I was to resign 
to Mr. Smith the business I had received from him, suggested that I 
should take the 'factory store,' which was better located than his, and 
thus retain my own customers. This would have injured Mr. Smith 
seriously. I did not think it would be honorable in me to encroach 
upon his privileges, and I promptly declined the offer." 

Mr. Livermore's religious nature was warm and earnest, 
and had been early developed under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances beneath the paternal roo.f. Although suffering 


much from poor health, his religious views were cheerful. 
During his residence in Waltham, he boarded with a lady 
of eminent piety, who had a high regard for him. 

" Her religion," he writes, " was after the pattern of the strictest Cal- 
vinism. As she loved me, she wished to save my soul ; and no argu- 
ments which she and her minister and friends could bring were kept 
back. I had, however, thought and read a good deal on the subject of 
religion, and had examined the evidences for and against the particular 
form of faith which is called ' Orthodoxy.' The result of my investiga- 
tions was to convince me that the grounds of true religion are very 
simple ; viz., to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and our 
neighbor as ourself. My sister Eliza (now the wife of the Rev. Mr! 
Stebbins) did more than any one else to encourage my religious inqui- 
ries and to fix my religious principles. The year in which I attained 
my majority, I, with her, made an open profession of my faith, and 
united with the church where my parents worshipped, where my father 
was deacon, and where I had been a Sunday-school scholar since I was 
five years old. I have always regarded this act of consecration with 
satisfaction ; * not as though I had already attained, either were already 
perfect,' but as a means of fixing my mind and directing my thoughts 
to the higher and spiritual wants of my nature. My dear mother had 
taught me a large number of hymns, which I shall never forget, and 
some of which I repeat every day and night." 

In the interval between relinquishing- his business at Wal- 
tham and entering into new engagements, as he had rarely 
been away from home, and never beyond the limits of this 
State, he made a visit to Maine, which was followed by a jour- 
ney to New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington. 
On his return, he went to West Point and Saratoga. Of his 
visit to Maine he says, — 

" In the spring of 1833, soon after I left Waltham, I went, by sail- 
ing packet, to Bangor. I had never been out of the State before. The 
voyage was rather rough and I was sea-sick ; but it was a new experience 
to me, and I enjoyed the novelty. I went to Old Town, where there 
was, on the island of Orono, an Indian settlement. These Indians are 
Eoman Catholics. They have a church and a Catholic priest on the 
island. The church is a rude structure, and I desired to see the inte- 


rior. The priest told me I could do this by calling on the deacon, who 
had the keys, and giving him a small compensation for his trouble. He 
pointed out the wigwam where the deacon lived, and I went there and 
made known my wishes to a fat squaw, who stood at the entrance. 
' You want to see church,' said she. * How much you give ? ' Wish- 
ing to be liberal, I said, ' Half-dollar,' being twice the sum the priest 
had named as the customary fee. She grumbled out, ' Deacon not at 
home.' Supposing that I should have to go again to accomplish my 
purpose, I started to return, when the squaw called out, 'You give a 
dollar, and the deacon is at home.' I readily produced my dollar, and 
my tawny guide came out with the keys and showed me the church." 

. During his visit to Washington, he called upon President 
Jackspn, and " was surprised to find that hard and tyrannical 
ruler so gentle and affable in private conversation." He also 
spent a day at Mount Vernon, with the greatest interest and 

Some attempts about this time to form a mercantile con- 
nection failed, but in 1834 he established himself in Boston, 
in the shoe and leather business. This led him at times to 
visit other cities, and to be absent from home for weeks and 
months together. But however pressing his engagements, 
his thoughts always reverted fondly to the paternal hearth, 
and to his Sunday school, which through life claimed his 
warmest interest and affection. 

In a letter to a younger brother from New York, dated 22d 
September, 1834, occurs this passage: — 

" Young never uttered a truer sentiment than this : ' We take no 
note of time but from its loss.' You are just at the age when time is of 
immense value. Improve every moment ; but do not consider time 
lost, if spent in profitable conversation, — or even sometimes in silence. 
There are other ways of improving the mind than reading books ; read 
men, read the volume of Nature ; read everything you see ; but when 
you take a printed volume, bestow on it your whole attention, and read 
it through before you commence anything else. You are just arriv- 
ing at an age when you will feel the worth of information on almost 
any subject. In a few weeks you will be called to act for yourself in 
life. I believe you have long since determined to act in all things from 


principle, not from caprice, or the impulse of the moment. Let purity 
of purpose be your pole-star through life, and you will not live in vain. 
The time will come when all will find their proper place in the world. 
. . . We have, as a family, cause to be grateful that our escutcheon 
is not marred by one dishonorable blot. Let us strive to increase its 
lustre. . . . 

" Be a valuable member of society, no matter how humble- may be 
your occupation for a few years. Remember Roger Sherman was 
called from the cobbler's bench to assist in drafting the Declaration of 

In the winter of 1834-5 he went to the South and West, 
spending some weeks in New Orleans. In a little memorandum- 
book kept by him at this time, we find that on the 15th of 
February he " heard Rev. Mr. Clapp preach in the morning," 
and in the " afternoon attended the meeting of the slaves at 
the Methodist Church." A few evenings after he " attended 
a meeting of colored persons about to emigrate to Liberia. 
Gloster Simpson, formerly a slave, and recently from Liberia, 
spoke in favor of the colony. All who were about to emi- 
grate formed themselves into a Temperance Society." For 
further information respecting this colonization scheme, he 
calls the next day on this Gloster Simpson from Liberia. 

He returned home from New Orleans by way of the Missis- 
sippi and the Ohio Rivers, and arriving at Louisville spent 
the Sunday there, March 15th. He " attended the Sunday 
school of the Rev. Mr. Clarke's Society" (James Freeman 
Clarke, D. D., now of Boston). " The whole number of schol- 
ars," he says, " is at present about fifty. Mr. Clarke preached 
in the morning on the education of children." 

Mr. Livermore's love of books increased with the increase 
of his means : indeed, it outran his means, which were yet 
small. His tastes craved for, and were formed upon, the best 
models : the authors with whom he communed were of the 
highest order, not only as regards purity and elevation of 
sentiment, but elegance of style. His pure mind rejected 
everything coarse or irreverent. He had a great horror of 


the very presence of books of a demoralizing tendency, — a 
feeling which led him to discard from his collection a copy 
of Byron, as he did not wish so impure a book in his library. 

His poetic faculty was large, and showed itself not only 
in a love for the best poets, but in the composition of some 
exquisite verses. Within a few years of the period of which 
we are now speaking, he wrote two dedication-hymns, a num- 
ber of hymns addressed to Sunday-school children, some 
verses suggested by the Scripture passage, " And Jesus 
called a little child unto him," &c. Other pieces were en- 
titled, " The Negro Missionary," " The Blind Harper and his 
Boy in Rogers's Italy," and some verses " To my Sister on her 
Wedding-Day. " These subjects of his Muse are here enumer- 
ated for the purpose of showing how largely religious ideas 
and sentiments possessed his mind at this time. Many of 
these verses are excellent as poetry, and probably have never 
been published, unless upon the cards of his Sunday scholars. 
To a valued friend in the Divinity School, who had already 
dedicated himself to the cause of Sunday schools and phil- 
anthropic labors among the poor, he presented a copy of the 
" Sunday-School Guide," written by his pastor, the Rev. A. 
B. Muzzey, on a blank leaf of which was inscribed this 
sonnet : — 

"to r. c. w. *'■■ 

" Self-consecrated to the cause of truth, 
Wedded to charity by tenderest ties, 
Thou art a Guide to many a wandering youth, 
Directing upward their inquiring eyes. 
Happy the chosen path thy feet pursue ! 
The work our Lord began, 'tis thine to do. 
To bless the little ones, — preach to the poor, 
Lead the lone pilgrim to the heavenly door, 
And bid him enter -freely, — heal the blind 
By pouring light celestial on the mind, — 
Comfort the mourning, — bind the broken heart, 
And give the balm religious joys impart : 
These are the duties that your path attend ; 
God bless your efforts evermore, my friend ! g. l. 

" December 10th, 1837." 

* Waterston. 


In the year 1838, Mr. Livermore and an older brother, Isaac 
Livermore, formed a copartnership in business as wool-mer- 
chants, — an arrangement which was favorable to the culti- 
vation of his literary tastes, as the larger share of the 
responsibilities of the business would be assumed by the 
senior partner, who would regard with an indulgent eye the 
favorite pursuits of the junior. 

About this time Mr. Livermore began to keep a diary, 
which he continued to the year of his death. The volume 
for 1838 opens with a dedication to his favorite sister ; and 
at the head of the first page is copied the following stanza : — 

" Thus far the Lord hath led me on, 
Thus far I make his mercy known ; 
And while I walk this desert land, 
New blessings shall new praise command." 

This daily record shows the development of his tastes and 
the subjects which took the strongest hold upon him, whether 
of a moral, religious, or political nature. We see what books 
he read, and what were his opinions of different authors. He 
had one of the most active of minds, and the most sensitive 
of natures. His interest in the parish, in the Sunday school, 
in the Lyceum, in the political meetings of his ward, <fcc, never 
flagged. He was a constant attendant at church, and for 
years always recorded the text from which the clergyman 
preached, and often gave an account of the discourse. The 
sessions of the Sunday school and the teachers' meetings 
were also duly noticed in his diary. Through life he had a 
great reverence for sacred things — for the Scriptures and the 
ordinances of religion. He had a horror of metaphysics, and 
all those philosophies which tended, as he thought, to scep- 
ticism. His mind was more poetic and aesthetic than logical, 
and he Avas much disturbed by the discussions on " Tran- 
scendentalism,' 7 when they first appeared here. He attended 
a course of lectures by Mr. Emerson, whose doctrines, so far 
as he understood them, much disquieted him. But, with the 


utmost simplicity, he says, that on leaving the lecture-room 
he is unable to recall any definite and well-connected ideas 
in the lectures of the Concord philosopher. 

He is found this year deeply engaged in reading his favor- 
ite author, Roscoe. Gray, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Miss Edge- 
worth, and Dickens also had charms for him ; and the gentle 
Charles Lamb he loved as an elder brother. 

His love of Nature, and particularly of flowers, was a 
striking trait in him. Under the date of Dec. 8, 1838, he 
says he received a fine bunch of larch from his sister, in 
Leominster, for which he felt very grateful. " There is noth- 
ing which gives me more pleasure than these little tokens of 
affection. I had rather see an old broken brown pitcher, filled 
with natural flowers or foliage, than the most curiously wrought 
alabaster vase, with only artificial flowers. My love for flowers 
and plants has become almost a passion, — I believe an inno- 
cent one." This love continued through life : in the season of 
flowers, he was rarely seen on his way to the city without a 
bunch of them in his hand ; and he frequently distributed 
them among the poor city children that he met, to whom 
they were luxuries indeed : he would, if he could, have 
strewn flowers in the pathway of every living creature. 
These flowers were cultivated on his own grounds, and many 
of them were of rare varieties, and of exquisite beauty. 
Their fragrance fitly symbolized the aroma of his beautiful 

We find him now attending Channing's lecture on Self- 
Culture, and paying the expenses of a young man in college. 
He is interested in Mr. Gurley and the Colonization Society, 
and feels that the Abolitionists are misrepresenting its pur- 
poses. With Elliott Cresson, the advocate of Colonization, he 
is holding a correspondence. 

In a memorandum of expenses this year, one half the 
amount is put down to necessary expenses, " board and cloth- 
ing," about one quarter to the account of " books," and the 


remainder to " charity and presents." The library he had col- 
lected at this time was comparatively small. In an entry 
made September 6th, he says he had to work hard that day, 
and felt annoyed by it, as he had five or six new books he 
was very desirous of reading. " I moved my books into a new 
secretary, or bookcase, and find they make quite a show. 
It seems I have about two hundred volumes of good books ; 
once this would have seemed quite a library ; now I only be- 
gin to see how many books I want. On one thing I am deter- 
mined, — that is, to buy no more trash; what works I do 
have shall be of good editions. I love literature too well 
and prize books too highly to have a good author in a mean 

One day an old gentleman reproved him for being always 
found with a book in his hand ; telling him it was " a bad 
sign for a merchant to read in his counting-room " ; and he was 
"abashed" by it. 

Mr. Livermore's reading, up to this time, seems to have 
been somewhat miscellaneous ; that is to say, he appears to 
have made no subject a specialty. His range of authors had 
been wide, and, as we have already observed, of the best 
selection. He thus laid 'such a foundation in a general knowl- 
edge of English literature, as well fitted him for those more 
special studies which we shall soon see him entering upon, 
and which he pursued with such ardor through life. He was 
always interested in the study of the Scriptures, and in the 
great themes which they suggest ; and his duties as a Sunday- 
school teacher naturally offered a constant inducement to the 
pursuit of these studies. But now we find him (21st Novem- 
ber, 1838) buying a copy of Coverdale's Bible. It was proba- 
bly a reprint by Bagster, issued this year. 

On the 1st of October, 1839, Mr. Livermore was married to 
Miss Elizabeth Cunningham Odiorne, of Cambridgeport, — a 
connection which opened a new field for the exercise of his 
warm and generous nature. In him the domestic virtues had 

54 m 


a rare growth, and no one could be more fortunate in the cir- 
cumstances which through life tended to hallow the marriage 

He is developing a taste, at this time, for our local his- 
tory, and appears to have kept a Record-Book of matters 
connected with the annals of his native town. We find him, 
in the early part of 1841, owning twenty-six volumes of the 
Historical Society's Collections, almost an entire set, — and 
Winthrop's History of New England, and all the Family and 
Classical Libraries. " Every day I go to Burnham's and 
Drake's and other bookstores, to see something new ; I must 
form a resolution to keep away," as he has yet a number of 
books unread, — but he fears he will be unable to abide by it 
for any length of time. 

The " Life of Josiah Quincy, Jr.," the ante-Revolutionary 
patriot, he reads with great interest. " It is an account of 
one who lived long, though he died young." 

Mr. Livermore always felt a deep interest in whatever was 
going on around him. On the 29th of January, 1842, he was 
present in the saloon of the Tremont Theatre, on the occasion 
of the presentation of a piece of plate to Captain Hewitt, by 
the passengers of the steamship " Britannia," as a testimonial 
of his skill in the management of his ship during a violent 
storm. He there saw Charles Dickens, one of the passengers 
in that ship, who made the presentation speech, and whose 
appearance disappointed him. " My idea," he says, " of the 
author of Oliver Twist and dear little Nell was quite too 
spiritual to be realized in any human form." 

In his business experience, now and through life, there 
were, at times, days and months of doubt and anxiety, when 
it seemed difficult to see through the dark clouds which over- 
spread the financial prospect. He had a high sense of mer- 
cantile honor ; but he was never ambitious of being a rich 
man. Amidst all his anxieties, his books, next to his family, 
were his never-failing solace* 


He was gradually adding to his store of Biblical works, as 
opportunities and means favored their acquisition. On the 
3d of March, 1842, he saw on sale, at Little and Brown's, a 
copy of Eliot's Indian Bible, the price of which was twenty- 
five dollars. He could not think of buying it, but his brother 
bought it and generously presented it to him. Copies of the 
same book have since been sold for more than a thousand dol- 
lars. On the 30th of June he visits the library of Harvard 
College, and finds Mr. Sibley very attentive and obliging, 
showing him many old volumes which make his " eyes open 
very wide." The next month he visits, probably for the first 
time, the rooms of the American Antiquarian Society at 
Worcester, and receives polite attention from Mr. Haven, 
the librarian of that institution, — subsequently one of Mr. 
Livermore's most intimate friends. 

In the early part of 1843, the library of the Rev. Thaddeus 
M. Harris, D.D., was sold at auction, in Boston, and Mr. Liv- 
ermore was tempted to buy some of the " antiques " in that 
collection. Among the books sold, he speaks of a copy of 
Eliot's Indian Bible, which brought thirty-nine dollars. 

In February of this year he evinces his growing interest 
in those studies which through life were a specialty with 
him by writing an article on this Indian Bible for the " Chris- 
tian World," a religious newspaper, edited by George G-. 
Channing. He afterwards suggests to the editor the devo- 
tion of a certain part of his paper to Sunday schools, and 
agrees to furnish something to that department for a month. 

He is reading with intense delight the Reminiscences of 
Thomas Frognall Dibdin. " I love him," he says. He is also 
reading that author's "iEdes Althorpiange." 

He now engages to assist a young man to pursue his 
studies for the ministry : a case where the principal charge 
would be borne by him. 

Strange to say, for the first time, he this year (March 10) 
visited the library of the Boston Athenaeum. Probably he then 


little thought that in a few years he would be chosen one of 
the Trustees of that institution, the Chairman of its Library 
Committee, and then its Vice-President, and regarded as one 
of its most efficient and influential managers. 

On the 29th of March we find him attending the meeting 
of the Massachusetts Historical Society at the First Church 
in Chauncy Place, where he hears the second Centennial Dis- 
course of John Quincy Adams, on the Formation of the New- 
England Confederacy of 1643. 

About this time was started a curious Biblical question, 
which Mr. Livermore and the late President of the Historical 
Society, the Hon. James Savage, were much interested in 
solving. In September of this year, the Rev. Rufus P. 
Stebbins delivered a Centennial Discourse before the First 
Congregational Society at Leominster, in the course of which 
he had occasion to mention the Rogers family residing in that 
town, who claimed to be descended from the first Marian 
martyr. He referred, also, to an old copy of the Bible in the 
possession of a member of the family in Lunenburg, which, 
according to tradition, once belonged to the Martyr himself: 
indeed, it was said to have been the identical copy which 
he carried to the stake ; and it now bears upon its leaves the 
marks of fire. The titlepage having disappeared from the 
volume, its date could not readily be ascertained. But what 
was supposed to be the monogram of the old printer, Cawood, 
was found upon the book ; and it was stated on respectable 
authority that Cawood printed but one edition of the Bible, 
namely, in 1549, six years before the Martyr's death. All this 
was therefore consistent with the tradition that the book had 
belonged to Rogers, and was now in the possession of a de- 

Previously to publishing his discourse, Mr. Stebbins ap- 
plied to Mr. Livermore for information on this subject. Mr. 
Livermore showed from unquestionable authority, that Ca- 
wood printed a number of editions of the Bible after 1555, 


the year of the Martyr's death ; and therefore, in the absence 
of more definite information, which he could not then furnish, 
as to the precise edition of the Lunenburg Bible, it must 
remain doubtful whether the Martyr could have owned that 
copy. Yet as Cawood was said to have printed one edition 
before Rogers's death, he felt that the probabilities favored the 
family tradition. 

The investigation of the subject, however, did not end here. 
Mr. Savage's interest in the matter centred principally on 
the genealogical question as to the descent of the Rqgerses 
in this country (those who came from Nathaniel, of Ipswich, 
Mass.) from the Marian Martyr. He had no faith in the 
tradition, and w r as curious to know whether the Lunenburg 
Bible furnished any link in the chain of evidence. A frag- 
ment of that Bible was therefore procured by Mr. Livermore, 
and sent to his correspondent, Mr. Henry Stevens, in London, 
who, with Mr. George Offer, the editor of Bagster's reprint 
of Tyndale's New Testament, diligently compared it with 
copies of Cawood's editions of known date, when it was clearly 
ascertained that the Lunenburg copy was of the edition of 
1561, six years after the Martyr's death. A sheet of the 
Bible of that date was subsequently sent by Mr. Offer to this 
country, and a careful collation being instituted with the 
Lunenburg copy, the conclusions arrived at in London were 
abundantly confirmed. Later investigations into the genea- 
logical question, both in this country and in England, have 
shown the improbability of the tradition 'that John Rogers, 
of Dedham, England, (the father of Nathaniel, of Ipswich, 
Mass.), was a grandson of the Marian Martyr. 

In November of this year, the Biblical library of the Rev. 
Dr. Homer, of Newton, was placed on sale at Messrs. Little 
and Brown's ; and Mr. Livermore bought from it a number of 
copies of rare editions of the Bible. Among them was a copy 
of the Genevan version, presented by Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin 
to Dr. Homer, and supposed by its former owners to have 


been the identical copy presented by the printer to Queen 
Elizabeth, — also the Bible which formerly belonged to Adam 
Winthrop, the father of the first Governor Winthrop. This gave 
further impetus to his studies in this direction. The library 
of the Duke of Sussex was sold the next year. This collec- 
tion was rich in rare copies of the Bible, some of which were 
purchased by Mr. Livermore. Further rarities were subse- 
quently added to his collection from the library of the late 
Dr. Haw.trey, Provost of Eton, — among which may be no- 
ticed an Evangelistarium, for the use of the Church, written 
on parchment, and supposed to be of a date as early as the 
eighth century. From these sources he laid the foundation 
of that large collection of Biblical works which his library now 
contains. But his time was not wholly spent, as it often is 
with book collectors, in amassing books : he was a careful 
student of them.* 

In December of this year, Mr. Livermore visited the Rev. 
Thomas Robbins, D. D., then living at Mattapoiset, in Roch- 
ester, Mass., to inspect his valuable collection of old Bibles. 
Dr. Robbins afterwards removed to Connecticut, and became 
Secretary of the Historical Society of that State, leaving to it 
his library. 

He now makes the acquaintance of some who were after- 
wards his associates in this Society, including Mr. Longfellow, 
Mr. Hillard, and Mr. Norton. Mr. Hillard recalls his early 
friendship for Mr. Livermore in some touching remarks made 
before this Society at the meeting following his death, which 
were printed in the volume of u Proceedings." Mr. Water- 
ston was an earlier friend ; Mr. Livermore showing much in- 
terest in his library, and adding to it, from time to time, some 
curious volume. With Mr. Ticknor he formed an early acquaint- 
ance. In the third edition of his " History of Spanish Litera- 

* It should be stated that Mr. Livermore could read neither Hebrew nor Greek, though 
his Biblical collection contained some books in these languages. In early life he 
acquired some knowledge of Latin, which was of service to him in later years. 


ture," Mr. Ticknor acknowledges his indebtedness for the cor- 
rection of an error of Navarrete — in referring to the eigh- 
teenth Psalm, as containing the prophecy appropriated by 
Columbus to himself, instead of the nineteenth, as stated in 
the Giustiniani Polyglott Psalter of 1516 — to his friend, 
" George Livermore, of Cambridge, who has in his precious 
library," says Mr. Ticknor, a " copy of the Giustiniani Poly- 
glott, which, when he pointed out the error to me, I did not 
own.' 7 (vol. i. p. 188.) 

Between our former associate, the late Rev. Alexander 
Young, and Mr. Livermore, there existed the warmest friend- 
ship. They had many literary affinities. Dr. Young was a 
ripe scholar, and had the tastes and sympathies of an an- 
tiquary. He had a true Dibdin eye for a good book, and the 
rare art of handling a volume properly, which few persons 
possess. He knew how to open a book without breaking its 
back, and to turn over its leaves so that its owner would not 
tremble while it was in his hand. There is a knack in all 
this, known only » to the true lover of books, — to him who 
reverences not merely the author, or the author's thoughts, 
but the concrete object before him. You never would see 
him taking up a noble volume, clothed in Bedford's best 
Levant, and in his best style, and, balancing it on one hand, 
allow one of the covers to swing at an angle of ninety de- 
grees, endangering the joint on which it hung; nor find him 
leaning on an open page, crumpling the virgin leaves, and 
making " dog's ears " of the corners. , 

Dr. Young had a great love for such an author, for in- 
stance, as Coryat, the great foot-traveller, the " Odcombian 
Leggestretcher," as he styled himself, and would read with de- 
light his " Crudities hastily gobled vp in Five Moneths Trauells 
in France, Sauoy, Italy," &c, &c. With what rare pleasure 
have we heard him read the passage in this quaint writer, 
where, in describing the wines of Venice, he says that the 
" Lagryme di Christo ... is so toothsome and delectable to 


the taste, that a certain stranger, being newly come to the 
citie, and tasting of this pleasant wine, was so affected there- 
with, that I heard he vttered this speech out of a passionate 
humour : Domine, Domine, cur non laclirymasti in regionibus 
nostris? " 

Izaac Walton, too, was an author after his own heart ; and the 
bit of philosophy contained in his quaint praise of the straw- 
berry Dr. Young always thought inimitable, and would cite 
the passage with goUt : " Indeed, my good scholar, we may 
say of angling as Dr. Boteler said of strawberries, ' Doubtless 
God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never 
did. 7 " But Dr. Young's great book was Boswell's Johnson, 
which he used to say a person should read through once a year. 
His " Library of Old English Prose Writers " reveals the 
" well of English undefiled " from which he drew ; and his 
" Chronicles of the Pilgrims " and " Chronicles of Massachu- 
setts " show his thorough knowledge of the early history of 
his native State.* 

Another friend, afterwards a member of this Society, was 
Edward A. Crowninshield. He was a true gentleman, a man 
of elegant manners and of a refined and cultivated taste. He 
was an ardent lover of books, and had one of the rarest libra- 
ries of old English literature in this part of the country. He 
had the first edition of Chaucer, the first edition of Shake- 
speare's and of Milton's Poems, " The Schoolmaster," by Roger 
Ascham, Coryat's " Crudities " of the edition of 1611, &c. 
His library was also quite rich in early American history 
and biography. Seated in his elegant room, with all its lux- 
urious appointments, surrounded by his " Strawberry Hills," 
his " Lee Priories," and his " Dibdins " (all of which told 

* Dr. Young died on the 19th of March, 1854. His loss was deeply felt by his friends. 
In a note dated 11th April, Mr. Livermore writes: "Thanks for your kind note 
of yesterday, and for the perusal of that of Crowninshield. I do not wonder that he 
feels so deeply the loss of Dr. Young. For many years, ' we three ' met daily at Little 
and Brown's. I cannot realize that I shall see his face no more on earth. I think 
every day he will call and see me." 


you that their owner regarded the art of bookbinding as one 
of the fine arts), you would be reminded of some of the 
pictures of Horace Walpole.* 

Mr. Livermore and these two friends, for years, met almost 
daily, at noon, at the book-store of Messrs. Little and Brown, 
and there held sweet converse among the noble volumes 
which surrounded them. No one, it may here be observed, 
had a greater love of humor, or had more of fun and frolic in 
his nature, than Mr. Livermore himself; and when the proper 
time came for its display, it had free course. These meetings 
were choice occasions. Books, of course, were the chief theme ; 
but the conversation took a wide range, and there were free 
discussions upon whatever topics of interest came up. As has 
been seen, few were more fond of anecdote, or could tell a 
better story, then Dr. Young. His wit and humor had the 
true flavor, like the bouquet of choice wine. At one time Cot- 
ton Mather was the subject of remark. Some one said that 
he was born out of time ; that, unhappily, he lived at a. transi- 
tion period in the colony, when clergymen were losing the 
influence and authority which had so long been conceded to 
them ; and this wounded his vanity. " An influence and au- 
thority" replied Dr. Young, in quiet irony, assuming an air of 
gravity and importance, " which the clergy at the present day 
are rapidly recovering." 

The eccentricities of Mr. Dowse, of whom the members of 
the Society are constantly reminded by the speaking picture 
of him in the Dowse Library, would now and then be the 
subject of pleasant remark. " How many volumes have 

* Mr. Crowrjinshield died on the 21st of February, 1859. Mr. Livermore thus writes 
on the same day : — " Poor Crowninshield is gone ! He was as well as usual yesterday 
afternoon ; but in the evening, whilst coughing, he was seized with a severe hemorrhage 
of the lungs, fainted, and passed away! We little thought, whilst speaking of him on 
Friday as one of the Standing Committee for next year* that before we met again he 
would be numbered with the dead. I loved him deeply, and I cannot but mourn his 
loss, though I feel that a merciful Providence has saved him from much suffering by 
thus suddenly and gently relieving him from his pains." 



you in your collection?" was a question often put to him by 
impertinent curiosity. " Never counted them," was the quick 
and decisive reply. 

Not infrequently two or three other friends would make 
their way into this charmed circle ; and the cheery presence 
of Mr. James Brown, who loved good books not merely 
because he dealt in them, was always a benediction. 

Sometimes the late John Overton Choules, D. D., whose 
rotund figure always recalled a well-remembered line of 
Thomson's, would appear amongst this company of biblio- 
philists. The Doctor was a great lover of books, and was 
thoroughly orthodox in his tastes. He used to say, that " old 
books and old wine " were fit companions. He edited some 
of the writings of others, but his labors in this field were not 
always regarded with favor by scholars. He never would 
acknowledge a suspicion of the authorship of the scathing 
criticism which appeared in the " Christian Examiner," for 
January, 1845, on his edition of NeaPs "History of the Puri- 
tans," published by the Harpers the year before ; and used, 
in apparent simplicity, to ask Mr. Livermore, " who he thought 
could have written it." 

In March, 1845, we find Mr. Livermore making corrections 
for the new edition of Grahame's "History of the United 
States," published this year, under the supervision of Presi- 
dent Quincy. He calls upon Mr. Quincy, who thanks him 
for the service rendered, and promises to acknowledge it in 
the Preface. This was the beginning of their acquaintance, 
and each continued to entertain the highest regard for the 
character of the other. Mr. Livermore had an almost romantic 
admiration for the heroic qualities of Mr. Quincy. Every 
summer or autumn, for ten or twelve of the last years of the 
iife of the venerable patriot, Mr. Livermore, in company with 
the writer of this notice, paid a visit to the family mansion in 
Quincy, where a warm welcome always awaited him. 


This year Mr. Livermore visited Europe, with his friend, 
Mr. James Brown, sailing on the 1st of April. He was 
furnished with letters from Mr. Sparks, Mr. Ticknor, and 
other well-known gentlemen. His journal, in the form of let- 
ters to his family, would make a most interesting volume, and 
is worthy of being printed entire. He did not follow the 
beaten track of the tourist. He made the acquaintance of 
many eminent men, and visited many famous libraries, inspect- 
ing, as time permitted, the curious books and manuscripts 
which they contained. 

The first object he would seek, on his arrival at Liverpool, 
would be some memorial of Roscoe. Under date of the 13th 
of April he writes : — 

" My first visit in the Old World was to the grave of Roscoe. From 
my childhood, when I read in the ' Sketch-Book ' Irving's glowing 
account of Roscoe, I have felt a deep interest in everything relating 
to him. I have never read any works of biography or history with 
more pleasure and profit than his ' Lorenzo de Medici ' and ' Leo 
X.' The beautiful style of the composition, the fine taste, correct 
views, and pure principles, which are so prominent in these volumes, 
quite fascinated me with the author ; and since reading his Life by his 
son, ten or twelve years ago, I have had for his character the most 
profound respect and enthusiastic admiration. He was a ripe scholar, 
a pure patriot, and a liberal, humble, consistent Christian. Though 
engaged in the active duties and cares of business, he found time to 
cultivate a taste for literature, science, and the fine arts ; and, in each 
department, the world has been benefited by his published works. His 
friends in Liverpool have shown in various ways their respect for his 
memory. Roscoe's grave is in a remote corner of the burying-ground 
connected with the Unitarian Chapel in Renshaw Street. I was dis- 
appointed not to find a monument here. There is nothing but a plain 
horizontal slab to mark the place of the family tomb. There is no 
inscription, but the names and ages of those who are buried beneath, 
with the date of their birth and death." 

Of course he did not fail to see the full length statue of 
Roscoe by Chantrey, in the Royal Institution. 
Through letters from his friend, Mr. Charles Sumner, Mr. 


Livermore became acquainted with members and friends of 
the Roscoe family in Liverpool, and afterwards in London, 
from whom he received the most flattering attentions. A 
dinner-party was made for him at Liverpool, at which he saw 
many of the descendants of Roscoe, who had been invited 
especially to meet him. Mr. Robert Roscoe, residing in Lon- 
don, called on him, invited him to his house, and gave him 
several memorials of his father, including a letter relating to 
his edition of Pope, a volume of poetry translated from the 
Italian, and a beautiful crystal miniature head of him in has- 

While in London, Mr. Livermore visited the great bibli- 
ographer, Thomas Frognall Dibdin, whose writings he had 
so thoroughly studied, and from whom he received a most 
hearty welcome. Dibdin was surprised to find that so many 
persons in this country were interested in his writings. 
Seizing Mr. Livermore's hands, he said, — " My dear sir, I see 
you are a genuine bibliomaniac. I thank you for coming to 
see me. I will point out to you such treasures in books as 
will delight your heart. You must go with me to Mr. Gren- 
vihVs library ; and I will give you an introduction to Oxford, 
Althorp, and other places, where you will see such books as 
you have never beheld before." * 

His account of a visit to the poet Rogers, on the 25th of 
April, in company with Mr. Brown, we give entire : — 

" Mr. Rogers lives at 22, St. James's Place. The entrance is in a very 
quiet and retired situation, but the windows in the parlors and drawing- 
room command a fine view of St. James's Park. We sent in our 
cards to Mr. Rogers, and were at once very cordially received. He 
made many inquiries about affairs in our country, and then invited us 
to his library and parlor, where we saw treasures in books and paint- 

* Dibdin subsequently proposed to give a dinner-party to Mr. Livermore, where he 
could meet some distinguished bibliographers, and kindred spirits; but Mr. Livermore 
•was obliged, by reason of pressing engagements, to excuse himself, and decline the 


ings which were of themselves worth a long journey to see. Whilst 
we were there, Mr. Wordsworth came in, and we were introduced to 
him. To see the author of ' The Excursion ' and the author of ' The 
Pleasures of Memory ' together, to take them both by the hand and 
listen to their conversation, was surely * glory enough ' for one day. 
The personal appearance of the two poets is quite unlike. Rogers is 
over eighty years old, yet not enfeebled by age. His manners are 
gentle and graceful, his countenance mild and delicate, and his voice 
sweet and remarkably pleasing. Wordsworth is eight or ten years 
younger. He is nearly a head taller than Rogers, and looks quite as 
old ; what little hair remains on his head is quite gray. His manners 
were rough, his voice loud, his conversation very rapid and vehement ; 
his whole soul seems to be thrown into the subject before him. When 
he is silent, he looks just like the engraved portrait in his Poems. I 
should have known him from the resemblance. But when he talks, the 
quiet and gentle look that the engraving indicates is gone. Perhaps 
he was unusually excited to-day ; for he has come to London to be pre- 
sented for the first time to Her Majesty, the Queen, as Poet-Laureate. 
He must appear in full court dress, and wear a» sword, an unusual 
thing for him. Well, we were introduced by Mr. Rogers, to the 
Laureate, as from America. His first words were, ' Gentlemen, are 
you from Pennsylvania ? ' We knew why he asked : he is deeply 
interested in the credit of that State, being the holder of its bonds, on 
which the interest had not been promptly paid ; and the odious and 
shameful doctrine of repudiation was probably associated in his mind 
with that State and its citizens. So I promptly answered, — ' No, from 
Boston in New England, where repudiation finds no favor with the 
people.' — ' Do you think Pennsylvania will pay her debts ? ' — ' Yes,' I 
replied, ' undoubtedly, principal and interest.' — ' So do I,' said Words- 
worth : * I have always thought so. I hold a large amount of State 
securities ; and some of my friends, too, are large holders. I have 
always advised them not to sacrifice them ; and I am glad to hear that we 
shall not be likely to lose.' I was glad enough to get through with this 
unpleasant matter of repudiation so well. He asked several questions 
about our country ; inquired if I knew Professor Ticknor ; when I left 
home ; how long I proposed to stay ; and what route I intended to take. 
But before I could answer half his questions, he said, ' I suppose you will 
do as your countrymen generally do, when they come here, — hurry 
through some of the most remarkable places in England by railway, and 
then be off to Italy to see paintings, and to Germany to see the great 


metaphysicians : for my part, I think we have paintings and works of 
art in England, enough to interest one for years ; and if you want to 
puzzle your brain with the metaphysics of the Germans, you can buy 
their works cheap enough.' When I told him that I was to be absent 
only three or four months from home, and that all but a fortnight of it 
would be passed in England, he said I had decided wisely. ' Come to 
Rydal Mount,' said he, ' and I will show you some beautiful scenery, 
well worth a little trouble to view.' Mr. Wordsworth left the house 
before we did. Mr. Rogers gave us so cordial and pressing an invita- 
tion to breakfast with him next Monday [the 28th of April], that 
we unhesitatingly accepted. . . . 

" Breakfasted with Samuel Rogers the poet. This delightful old 
gentleman had invited Mr. Brown and me to come this morning, and 
he received us very cordially. It was a great privilege to sit beside 
him and listen to his anecdotes, and talk with him about the authors of 
England, with whom he had been so long on terms of the closest friend- 
ship and intimacy. Mr. Rogers has never been married. He does the 
honors of the table with ease and grace. There were numerous 
little choice dishes, which he gave an account of, as they were served 
up, giving us the history of each. He is constantly receiving presents 
from some of his numerous friends. This morning he had plovers' eggs 
served up on sea-weed, a present from the South of France ; oranges 
from Malta, whose fragrance and beauty surpassed any thing of the kind 
I had ever seen; sweetmeats from Turkey, marmalade from Scotland, 
and Dutch bread. Mr. Rogers spoke very freely of his contemporaries. 
Coleridge was an intimate friend. He was a remarkable man in con- 
versation, but had a bad temper. He did not live with his wife for 
many years before he died. He spoke warmly of Roscoe, with whom 
he was acquainted. Byron, Southey, and Campbell were frequent 
visitors at Rogers's : I wish I could remember a tithe of what he said 
about them. Rogers has always felt a deep interest in our country. 
His father was a warm friend of the Colonies at the time of the Revolu- 
tion. When the news came to London of the Battle of Lexington, he 
sent for his tailor, and ordered a suit of black. On the tailor asking 
if he had lost any friend, he answered, — ' Yes, many dear American 
friends at the Battle of Lexington ; and I shall wear black for them as 
long as I live.' 

" Rogers said that in 1790 (I think it was, perhaps, 1791 or 2) he was 
one of a dinner-party of twelve at Paris, — nine of whom, within a year 
or two, died a violent death ! He spoke of our American authors. 


Washington Irving was of course at the head of our prose-writers, 
Bryant, at the head of the poets. Halleck was held high in his esteem. 
He said nothing of Dana the poet, but spoke in the highest terras of 
the work of R. H. Dana, Jr., ' Two Years before the Mast.' Mr. 
Rogers's house is a perfect museum of curiosities, yet all arranged in 
good taste. He has some exquisitely beautiful paintings, originals by 
the Old Masters. Besides some of the choice works of Sir Joshua Rey- 
nolds and Sir Thomas Lawrence, I saw the original bust of Pope, by 
Roubilliac, which Flaxman told Rogers his father had seen more than a 
century ago in the studio of the artist. Among the autographs were a 
letter of Dr. Franklin to Washington, and one from Washington to 
Alexander Hamilton. I saw the original drawings from which the 
engravings were taken in the ' Poems ' and ' Italy.' In the library were 
some book rarities, — the first Aldus, the first edition of the ' Faerie 
Queene,' and the first edition of ' Paradise Lost ' ; but the chief orna- 
ment of the library was a little certificate neatly framed and hung 
upon the wall, which is nothing less than the original contract of 
Milton with his printer for the copyright of ' Paradise Lost.' 

" Mr. Rogers inquired particularly what places we had visited in Lon- 
don, and gave us a memorandum of those worth seeing on account of 
their historical associations. We left him between eleven and twelve 
o'clock, having had one of the most interesting and delightful visits 

Mr. Livermore also visited Sir Thomas Grenville, and saw 
his magnificent library, which has since been transferred to 
the British Museum, and now forms one of the greatest at- 
tractions of that institution. In the British Museum he saw 
many Biblical rarities, which gave new inspiration to his in- 
terest in the history of the early publication of the Scriptures, 
and in general bibliography. 

His visits to Oxford, to Cambridge, and to Althorp, where 
he saw the unrivalled collection of Earl Spencer, made more 
famous by the description in Dibdin's luxurious volumes, are 
all eloquently set forth in his journal. 

Mr. Everett was at this time our minister in London ; and 
he was very attentive in affording Mr. Livermore, by means 


of letters and in other ways, every facility for accomplishing 
the objects of his tour.* 

The gay city of Paris had fewer attractions for Mr. Liver- 
more. He could not speak the language, nor could he 
become reconciled to the apparent desecration of the Sabbath, 
in the open shops and places of amusement. The brilliant 
spectacles which everywhere arrest the eye of the stranger 
in that city were not unobserved by him, and were elo- 
quently described in his letters to his family ; but every- 
thing was foreign to his principles, and to his tastes. 
England had the greater charm for him, and in after life 
he derived the highest satisfaction from the recollection 
of this visit to the mother country. He arrived home, on 
the 3d of July, after an absence of about three months. 
The last thing before embarking at Liverpool, he says, — "I 
went to the grave of Roscoe, and brought away a sprig of 
sweetbrier and some ivy leaves. " 

The previous year he had ordered from Liverpool two or 
three copies of the bust of Roscoe, in plaster. They could 
not then be obtained in this country. One of them was placed 
in the vestibule of his house, where it has since stood. One 
was presented to Harvard College, and it now stands in Gore 
Hall. When the committee of the Historical Society were fit- 
ting up a room to receive Mr. Dowse's library, and were plac- 
ing busts of distinguished authors over the bookcases, Mr. 
Livermore requested that a bust of Roscoe might be of the 

Mr. Livermore was deeply interested in the cause of learn- 
ing ; and the College in his neighborhood was as dear to him 
as though he had passed the four years as an undergraduate 

* While in London, Mr. Livermore had the opportunity, through his friend Mr. 
Brown, of seeing the rare private collections of books and manuscripts, belonging to the 
eminent booksellers, Mr. Pickering and Mr. Murray; and he describes them at length. 

Among the Americans whom he was constantly in the habit of meeting in London 
were the late Kev. Henry Colman and Dr. Samuel Parkman ; also our present associate, 
Mr. Saltonstall. 


within her walls, and could call her Alma Mater. He was 
now chosen by the Board of Overseers a member of the Library 
Committee, and continued to hold that position, by annual 
election, till his death ; being most of the time the Secretary 
of the Committee. When in England, he had formed the 
acquaintance of Mr. Everett ; and he regarded it as most 
fortunate for Harvard College when that eminent scholar was 
called to its Presidency. He was present at the inauguration 
services, which took place on the 30th of April, 1846, and 
under this date thus writes in his diary : — 

" It was a great day for Cambridge, for Harvard University, for the 
cause of literature and learning in our country. The inauguration of 
Edward Everett as President of Harvard University was an event to 
fill every heart with joy ; i.e., every heart that beats with the love of ex- 
cellence and talent. There was a large audience at the church, every 
seat and stand was occupied, and four times as many would have been 
present, if the building could have held them. I was very fortunate in 
having a comfortable place during all the exercises at the church. As 
a member of the Examining Committee on the Library, the place ap- 
pointed me in the procession was just after the Overseers ; and I had a 
seat on the platform at the. church, and a good place at the table for 
dinner. E. A. Crowninshield was my companion in the procession and 
at dinner ; I found him by appointment at Owen's, before the procession 
was formed. We went to the Library at a little past ten o'clock, and at 
eleven the procession started. The services at the church were all of a 
high order. They were as follows — Introductory prayer, by Rev. James 
Walker, D. D. ; address and delivery of the College charter, seal, and 
keys, by His Excellency, George N. Briggs ; reply to the Governor, by 
the President elect ; a Latin oration, by George M. Lane, of Cambridge- 
port ; hymn, by Rev. Dr. Flint ; and then an elegant, profound, and in- 
imitable address by the President. I had often heard Mr. Everett 
before, but I believe that of to-day surpassed all his previous productions. 
Lane's performance was very creditable, and the Governor's marked 
by his usual good sense and propriety. There were many distinguished 
persons present ; when Daniel Webster came forward on the platform, 
he was greeted by tremendous applause.* The services at church were 

* The sudden appearance of Mr. Webster on the platform on this occasion (in the 
First Parish Church), approaching from behind, at the entrance through the pulpit, and 



over a little before two o'clock ; at half past two the procession re- 
formed at Gore Hall, and proceeded to Harvard Hall for dinner. 
About five hundred and fifty sat down to the table. My neighbors were 
Crowninshield, Hillard, Bowen, Ellis, and Bowditch. 

" Mr. Everett presided with great dignity and grace at the table. A 
blessing was asked by the Rtv. Dr. Sharp, and thanks returned by the 
Rev. Dr. Woods, President of Bowdoin College. Speeches were made by 
President Everett, Ex- President Quincy, Daniel Webster, a humorous 
poem by Dr. O. W. Holmes, speeches by R. C. Winthrop, J. Quincy, 
Jr., President Hitchcock of Amherst, and Professor Silliman of Yale Col- 
lege, and George S. Hillard of Boston. At half past five o'clock the 
company left the hall. Mr. Everett invited all to visit him at his 



The " Cambridge Chronicle," a weekly newspaper, was 
started in Cambridgeport in 1846 ; and Mr. Livermore, partly 
to assist the proprietor, and partly to aid in securing a good 
local paper, was a frequent contributor to its columns. He 
was a graceful and forcible writer ; his opinions on whatever 
subject were never doubtfully expressed, and his historical 
investigations were thorough and exhaustive. Many of the 

the reception given to him, are thus described by our associate, Mr. Dana, in his 
" Address on the Life and Services of Edward Everett," delivered before the muni- 
cipal authorities and citizens of Cambridge, Feb. 22, 1865. 

" On this occasion, there was an occurrence which put suddenly to the severest test the 
equanimity and ready resources of Mr. Everett. The day and place were his, and his only. 
The crowded assembly waited for his word. He rose, and advanced to the front of the 
platform, and was received with gratifying applause. As he was about to begin, the 
applause received a sudden and marked acceleration, and rose higher and higher into 
a tumult of cheers. Mr. Everett felt that something more than his welcome had 
caused this; and turning, he saw, just at that opening behind your seat, Mr. Mayor, 
the majestic presence of Mr. Webster! The reception of Mr. Webster had additional 
force given to it from the fact that he had just returned from his conflict in Congress 
with Charles Jared Ingersoll, who had made an attack on his character, and that this his 
first appearance among us since was altogether unexpected. I had heard Mr. Everett's 
readiness of resource called in question. I looked — all must have looked — to see how 
he would meet this embarrassment. He turned again to the audience, cast his eyes 
slowly round the assembly, with a look of the utmost gratification seemed to gather 
their applause in his arms, and, turning about, to lay it ministerially at the feet 
of Mr. Webster, said to him, as I remember, ' I wish, Sir, that I could at once assert 
the authority that has just been conferred upon me, and, auctoritate milii commissa 
declare to the audience, expectatur oratio in lingua vernaculd a Webster. But I suppose, 
Sir, your convenience and the arrangements made by others, render it expedient that I 
should speak myself, — at least, at first.' " 


book-notices which appeared in this journal for a number of 
years, were from his pen. 

On Monday the 6th of December, 1847, the Hon. R. C. Win- 
throp took the chair as Speaker of the House of Representatives 
of the United States, to which office he had just been elected ; 
and in the course of his speech on that occasion, he made 
use of the following language : " May I not reasonably 
implore, with something more than common fervency, upon 
your labors and upon my own, the blessing of that Almighty 
Power, whose recorded attribute it is, that ' He maketh men 
to be of one mind in a house ' ? " * Supposing the concluding 
words to be Scriptural, many asked where they were to be 
found. The newspapers of New York and Boston inquired 
the Speaker's authority for the apt quotation, — some asserting 
that it was not in the Bible at all, and not a few learned 
divines being greatly puzzled. It was finally found to have 
been taken from the Psalter. In an article contributed to 
the " Cambridge Chronicle," of the 23d of December, Mr. 
Livermore explained that the passage in the Received Version 
(Psalm lxviii. 6), which reads " God setteth the solitary in 
families," is rendered in the Book of Common Prayer as 
given by Mr. Winthrop, " God maketh men to be of one 
mind in a house." It is from the Coverdale version of 
1535, and appears there in Psalm lxvii. It is substantially 
according to the Cranmer Bible, to which the Psalter in 
the Prayer-Book generally conforms. Mr. Winthrop took 
the passage cited from the, Prayer-Book, his eye happening 
to rest upon it the day before at- church. In the article re- 
ferred to, Mr. Livermore gave ten several versions of this 

A good illustration of the accuracy and minuteness of his 
knowledge of the various editions of the Scriptures is shown 
in some papers which he communicated to the " Boston 
Daily Advertiser," of July 12th, and Oct. 19th, 1849, in reply 

* Addresses and Speeches, Boston, 1852, p. 610. 


to Bishop Chase, of Ohio, who had brought the charge 
against Cromwell and the Puritans of having corrupted the 
sacred text. The allegation was, that Cromwell, having su- 
preme power, had authorized the change of the word " we " — in 
Acts vi. 3, relating to the appointment of the seven deacons — 
to " ye," in order to ftivor the views of the Independents. The 
Bishop indulged in many other loose statements, by no means 
creditable either to his knowledge or to his taste. Among 
other things, he said that the " Cambridge Platform of 1648 
was based upon this noted error." Mr. Livermore, in reply to 
the Bishop, in the papers referred to, showed, by respectable 
Episcopalian authority, that the edition of the Bible in which 
this error first appeared was printed in 1638, while Laud and 
Charles were ascendant in Church and State, — and that the 
next edition known to contain it was printed after the Kestora- 
tion. It was simply a typographical error. 

In the " Cambridge Chronicle " of the 5th of April, 1849, he 
commenced a series of eight articles on the New-England 
Primer, which were published over the signature of " The 
Antiquary." These papers were afterwards gathered into a 
thin volume (of which twelve copies only were issued as gifts 
to friends), with this title: "The Origin, History, and Char- 
acter of the New-England Primer." They showed much 
research and curious learning, and attracted considerable at- 
tention. This Society has one of these twelve copies in its 

Among the minor questions discussed in these papers on 
the New-England Primer was one concerning the number of 
John Rogers's children. The equivocal statement of the 
Primer, that there were " nine small children and one at the 
breast," was disputed by Mr. Livermore, who contended that 
the number of the Martyr's children at the time of his death 
was eleven — citing Fox, the martyrologist, for his authority. 
His positions were assailed by some humorous communica- 
tions in the " Boston Transcript," in July ; to which he 


While a member of the School Committee, Mr. Livermore 
contributed to the " Chronicle " an interesting article on the 
" Public Schools in Cambridge," going back to " Master Ea- 
ton's Flogging School/' and citing the early colonial laws on 
the subject of schools in Massachusetts. This article was 
copied into the " Common-School Journal " for Aug. 1, 1848. 
The next year he prepared and printed " A Brief Account 
of the Dana-Hill Public Schools, Cambridge, 1849." 

A collection of books which formerly belonged to Washing- 
ton was offered for sale this year, and was bought by a num- 
ber of gentlemen, and presented to the Boston Athenaeum. 
Mr. Livermore was not only one of the subscribers to the fund 
for the purchase of these books, but he was one of a few 
persons who labored persistently for the securing of this 
treasure.* Subsequently, as a trustee of Mr. Dowse's estate, 
he communicated to the " Athenaeum " the sum of one thou- 
sand dollars to defray the expense of a catalogue for this 
collection, and for increasing it. Everything relating to the 
history and character of Washington had an interest for Mr. 
Livermore. His noble library contains many memorials of the 
Father of his Country : and among the latest accessions to 
it, not many weeks before his decease, were several sermons 
preached on the death of Washington, of which he already 
possessed over one hundred. 

In November, 1849, Mr. Livermore was elected a member 
of this Society ; and a most valuable member did he prove, 
laboring for its welfare, in season and out of season, to the 
last. The first volume of " Proceedings " was issued under 
his superintending care, assisted by his friend and associate 
on the Committee of Publication, the Rev. Chandler Robbins, 
D. D. He continued a member of that Committee till his 
death ; and was also for a number of years a most influential 
member of the Standing Committee. Other important ser- 

* See Quince's History of the Boston Athenaeum, p. 187, for a description of these 


vices which he rendered the Society will be noticed farther 
on. The American Antiquarian Society had, the month be- 
fore, enrolled him among its members. 

The " Christian Examiner " for November, this year, con- 
tained an article by Mr. Livermore, written at the request of 
Br. Ellis, one of the editors of that journal, on the " Publication 
and Circulation of the Scriptures " ; being a review of the Rev. 
W. P. Strickland's " History of the American Bible Society." 
This paper gave abundant evidence of his large information on 
the subject of the translation and circulation of the Bible ; 
and contains a strong protest against " the absurd attempt " 
to adapt a version of the Scriptures to the capacities of the 
ignorant and almost barbarous races, which was made by 
the British and Foreign Bible Society when they printed a 
translation of the New Testament for the English negroes in 
Surinam : — 

" These negroes," he says, " have no distinct language ; but speak 
what is called ' talkee-talkee,' a strange lingo, compounded of original 
African words, of clipped and softened English words, and of vio- 
lently treated Portuguese words. Their missionaries, the Moravians, 
instead of attempting to teach the negroes pure English or Dutch, 
recommended and urged the Bible Society to print an edition of the 
New Testament from a manuscript version which had long been in 
use at Surinam, in the abominable patois spoken by the slaves. Great 
benefit, it was predicted, would result to the missionaries and their con- 
verts from the undertaking, though the Society brought upon itself smart 
censures and much ridicule for the seemingly irreverent and ludicrous 
character of the volume which they published. It was very elegantly 
printed in octavo form, large type, in London, in 1829. Nearly all 
the copies were transmitted to the people for whose use they were 
prepared, and their arrival and distribution among the negroes caused 
great excitement. A very few copies were retained in England, as 
bibliographical and philological curiosities, and they have now become 
very scarce. One of them was recently offered to the public, in 
London, at the sale of the library of the late Duke of Sussex, and was 
sold for three pounds ten shillings. Its original cost could not have 
exceeded two or three shillings. 


" We have a copy of this extraordinary volume of gibberish before 
us, and have looked it over for the purpose of finding a specimen which 
shall have in it nothing more offensive than what characterizes the 
whole of the work. The reader may form some just idea of what 
specimens might be selected, when he is told that the word virgin is 
rendered, in this version, " wan njoe wendje." 

" We will take a few verses from the benedictions, Matt. v. : — % 

" ' 1. Ma teh Jesus si da piple, a go na wan bergi tappo, a go sidom, en dem 

discipel va hem kom klossibei na hem. 
" '2. En a hoppo hem moeffe, a leri dem, a takki : 
" ' 3. Boenne heddi va dem, dissi de poti na hatti : bikasi Gadokondre de 

vo dem. 
" ' 4. Boenne heddi va dem, dissi de sari na hatti : bikasi hatti va dem sa 


" Which we may venture to translate half-way back again into 
English, as follows : — 

" ' 1. But when Jesus see the people, he go after one mountain-top, he go sit 
down, and them disciple for him come close by after him. 

" ' 2. And he open him mouth, and learn them, and talk : 

" ' 3. Good is it for them, these the pretty in heart, because God's country is 
for them. 

" ' 4. Good is it for them, these the sorry in heart, because heart for them so 
cheery.' " 

In a letter to John Allan, of New York, the distinguished 
antiquary, in December of this year, Mr. Livermore expressed 
his intention of printing, for private distribution, some " Remi- 
niscences of a too short, but very pleasant acquaintance with 
Thomas Frognall Dibdin." This purpose, however, was never 

In the " North-American Review," for July, 1850, Mr. Liv- 
ermore contributed an article on Public Libraries, contain- 
ing a large amount of curious and valuable information 
on the subject, both as regards this country and Europe. 
The scheme of international exchanges of books, inaugurated 
by M. Yattemare, was also discussed. Mr. Livermore had 
no confidence in M. Yattemare, and regarded his scheme as 
visionary. The great subject of a catalogue, which had just 


before agitated the minds of the trustees of the British 
Museum, is dwelt upon ; and the conflicting views drawn out 
by the examining committees of Parliament laid before 
the reader. Two of the books reviewed in this article were 
the " Report from the Select Committee on Public Libra- 
ries," and the " Report of the Commissioners appointed to 
inquire into the Constitution and Government of the British 

A few months afterwards, a volume of Chambers's " Papers 
for the People " was issued in Edinburgh, containing a paper 
on " Public Libraries," which was made up from Mr. Liver- 
more's article, a former article from the " North American," 
written by our Corresponding Member, Professor George 
Washington Greene, and a third paper from another source, — 
no acknowledgment whatever being made by the Edinburgh 

This year Mr. Livermore was elected a trustee of the 
State Library ; and while a member of this board, he had an 
opportunity of testing M. Yattemare's system of exchanges. 
His views as to the benefit accruing to the State therefrom 
were briefly expressed a few years later in the " History of 
the State Library," drawn up by the Librarian, and prefixed 
to the Catalogue published in 1858. 

In 1850, Harvard College conferred upon him the honorary 
degree of Master of Arts ; and, the same year, he was elected 
a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. 

Mr. Livermore's library at this time had become a most 
valuable one ; and his thorough habits of investigation had 
made him an authority on those subjects that specially 
engaged his thoughts. A paper on " Libraries in Boston 
and its Vicinity," in the " Bibliotheca Sacra," for January, 
1850, contains a notice of Mr. Livermore's collection, and 
mentions many of its rare works. His library was then 
estimated to comprise " about three thousand volumes." It 
was largely increased during the fifteen years following. 


In the early part of the year 1851, there appeared in the 
" New- York Evening Post," under the signature of " Friar 
Lupin/' a series of articles commenting on the manner in 
which Mr. Sparks had edited the Writings of Washington. He 
was charged with not being faithful to the original text 
of Washington's letters. The charge was based on a com- 
parison of some of the letters as printed by Mr. Sparks with 
the same letters as published by Mr. William* B. Reed, 
of Philadelphia, from the originals in his possession. In 
the " Cambridge Chronicle," of the 20th of February of that 
year, Mr. Livermore came out with an article in defence of 
Mr. Sparks, quoting largely from his Preface to Washington's 
Writings, to show the plan on which ho had prepared 
that work. The matter assumed graver proportions when 
the charges of the writer in the " New- York Evening Post " 
were adopted by Lord Mahon, who accused Mr. Sparks of 
•• tampering with the truth of History."* 

In the *■ Christian Examiner," for July, 1851, appeared an 
article from Mr. Livermore's pen, entitled " John Wycliffe 
and the first English Bible " ; which no one can read without 
seeing how thoroughly Mr. Livermore's mind was possessed 
of all the curious learning appertaining to a full understand- 
ing of the subject. 

Mr. Livermore was now becoming well known to our schol- 
ars, as a man of large acquirements in certain departments of 
learning ; and his simple, frank, and winning manners caused 
his acquaintance to be sought by those who sympathized with 
his tastes, or who desired to profit by his intimate knowledge 
of books, or by his words of counsel. He numbered among 
his correspondents many eminent scholars and bibliographers, 
both in this* country and in England. Among these may be 
mentioned Francis Fry, F. S. A., of Cotham, Bristol, the edi- 

* An excellent treatment of this whole question, in defence of the editor of Wash- 
ington's Writings, may be seen in the Memoir of Mr. Sparks by our associate, Dr. Ellis, 
in this volume, at pages 261-267. 



* tor of the elegant new edition, printed in 1862 in facsimile, 
of Tyndale's New Testament of 1526, in the library of the 
Baptist College in Bristol. Mr. Fry was the editor of other 
book rarities, and usually had a few copies struck off on parch- 
ment or vellum for private distribution. 

The late Rev. Christopher Anderson, D. D., of Edinburgh, 
author of the "Annals of the English Bible,'-' London, 1845, 
was also a valued correspondent. Mr. Livermore formed his 
acquaintance while in London. 

With the lamented Professor Jewett, formerly 'Librarian 
of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, and more recently 
of the Boston Public Library, Mr. Livermore held the most 
agreeable relations. At the time of the controversy respect- 
ing the distribution of the income of the Smithsonian fund, 
Mr. Livermore entered warmly into the question, sympathiz- 
ing entirely with Professor Jewett and his friends, and using 
all his influence to prevent what he considered a perversion 
of the trust. 

Of the late George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted 
son of General Washington, who lived at " Arlington House," 
near Alexandria, Va., Mr. Livermore was a frequent corre- 
spondent, as he had been his guest.* Mr. Custis was a gran- 
diloquent old man, but warm-hearted and hospitable to all 
who visited the " shades of Arlington," where were treasured 
with care many interesting memorials of his illustrious rela- 
tive. His " Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washing- 
ton •' was a posthumous publication. 

About this time he is found applying his accurate learning 
to the correction of what he regarded as some singular errors 
of Mr. Bancroft, relative to the publication of the Scriptures 
in this country before the American Revolution. His crit- 

* Others, eminent book-collectors, who were also intelligent bibliographers, might 
be named, by whom the memory of Mr. Livermore will always be held dear. Mr. James 
Lenox, of New York; Mr. John Carter Brown and Mr. John Russell Bartlett, of 
Providence; Mr. George Brinley and Mr. J. Hammond Trumbull, of Hartford, — were 
among his valued friends and correspondents. 


icism appeared in the " Boston Daily Advertiser," of the 
18th of January, 1853, and relates to some statements in 
Chapter XII. Volume V. of the first edition of Bancroft's 
" History of the United States." In subsequent issues of 
that volume, large alterations in the foot note will be found at 
this place. 

Mr. Livermore's health was almost always poor. He 
suffered greatly from headache all his life. " I wonder," he 
would say, " if blockheads ever ache." He remarks that 
he has seen somewhere that disease is a crime ; and, if it is 
so, he must be the greatest of sinners. In 1850, he was so ill 
that he contemplated a long voyage. But he had an elastic 
spirit, and he commonly soon recovered from his attacks of 
illness, — at least, he was enabled to resume his usual avo- 

In the political affairs of his State and of the Nation he 
was always deeply interested. But he never sought, nor 
would he have accepted, office. He was decided in his 
views ; his opinions were convictions ; and he was sometimes 
a little impatient, and not always tolerant, of the opinions of 
those who differed from him. He did not reflect at the mo- 
ment that the dissent of others from him was the exact 
measure of his dissent from others. But he was simple, con- 
scientious, and constantly striving for the truth. 

He was ever opposed to the system of slavery in this 
country, and particularly to its extension ; but, up to this time, 
he was equally opposed to the spirit and policy of the Abolition- 
ists. He felt that the vehement denunciations in which they 
indulged did more harm than good to the cause, and that a 
way would be opened by Providence for the peaceable set- 
tlement of this agitating question ; and when Mr. Webster 
delivered his " Seventh of March Speech " in the Senate 
of the United States, which fell " like a wet sheet " upon 
New England, it met Mr. Livermore's approval. Subse- 
quently, his views on the subject underwent a change. He 


began to feel that the South, banded together as one man, 
were determined to force their peculiar institution upon the 
National domain ; that, by stifling freedom of debate in the 
National Legislature,* by the repeal of ordinances enacted for 
the protection of freedom, by securing decisions in the Su- 
preme Court hostile to liberty, and by other acts of a similar 
character, they were, with the aid of their Northern allies, 
rapidly extending their power in the government, and would 
soon bring the whole North under their corrupting influence. 
He then felt that the only hope for freedom was in the union 
of all manly hearts in an equally firm stand against slavery. 
As he felt, so he acted. 

During a business tour which he made, in 1852, to the 
West, Mr. Livermore visited Blennerhassett's Island, in the 
Ohio River, concerning which, with other matters, he writes 
as follows : — 

" Parkersburg, Va., May 21, 1852. 

" My dear D , — I wish you had been with me here in " Old 

Virginny " this pleasant day, and we would have rambled together over 
the beautiful island made forever memorable as the scene of Burr's 
and Blennerhassett's conspiracy, and by the eloquence of Wirt made 
classic as well as historic ground. It lies in the Ohio just below the 
river Kanawha, and between Parkersburg, Va., and Belpre, Ohio. I 
hired a boatman to take me in his skiff to the island, and can say from 
actual observation, that neither eloquence nor poetry can magnify the 
beauties of the situation beyond the reality. But few of the relics of 
improvements by its former owner now remain. The house was 
destroyed by fire between forty and fifty years ago. The garden is 
literally all grown over with thorns. I cut a stick for a cane on the 

* The attack upon the Massachusetts Senator, in the Capitol at Washington, on the 
22d of May, 1856, caused a deep feeling at the North among all political parties. Up 
to this time Mr. Livermore had called himself a " Webster Whig," and had uniformly 
voted against his relative, Mr. Burlingame, whenever he had been a candidate for any 
political office. But now he caused to be printed, at his own expense, the speech of 
Mr. Burlingame, made in the House of Representatives in Washington on the 21st of 
. June, in " Defence of Massachusetts"; and, in some extra copies, inserted a "Prefa- 
tory Note," not signed, wherein he expresses his conviction that the time had arrived 
when " consistency to long cherished principles requires that the Conservative utter 
and defend the old doctrine of our illustrious statesman, — 'Liberty and Union, now 
and forever, one and inseparable.' " Later events only intensified his convictions. 


spot, and gathered a few shells and pebbles from the beach, to bring 
home as mementoes of the visit ; and I left the place with sad reflections 
on the misfortune and folly of those who leave the luxury of a quiet 
home for the ambitious purpose of political power. 

" It is now the third week of my absence from home, and another 
week will elapse before I can return. This has been the first day that 
has not been devoted almost exclusively to business. I was detained 
here, waiting for a steamboat to take me up the river, and improved the 
leisure by a visit to Blennerhassett's Island. 

" I procured a copy of ' Uncle Tom's Cabin ' on my way, and have 
read it with great interest. I agree with you entirely that it is a work 
of great power, as well as of perfect fairness. It must do much good. 
The subject of slavery needs only to be presented in a spirit of candor 
and intelligence like this, to bring all who are truly desirous of promot- 
ing freedom to common ground. I wish I could circulate ten thou- 
sand copies of ' Uncle Tom,' in the Old Dominion, where chivalry and 
slavery have wrought such a potent spell, and almost reduced to beg- 
gary a people possessed of some of the greatest natural advantages of 
any in our fair country. 

" Remember everything that occurs during my absence, and come 
and tell me all when I get home. You can, better than almost any 
one else, make up the loss which I always feel when deprived of the 
genial influences of Boston and Cambridge society. 
" Yours faithfully, 

" George Livermore." 

Mr. Livermore was continually adding to his store of 
Biblical works, and often found occasion to make use of his 
curious and accurate learning in this department of bibli- 
ography. At the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Bible 
Society, in May, 1854, his Excellency, Governor Washburn, 
made an address, in the course of which he referred to 
the influence of the Bible upon Cromwell's soldiers. " In 
the army/ 7 he said, " every man had a Bible in his knapsack, 
and daily read it, and sang the praises of God ; and the 
result was the like of what has been seen in the history of 
Puritanism." In an article in the " Cambridge Chronicle," of 
the 20th of June, Mr. Livermore quoted this passage from the 
Governor's speech, saying it was substantially correct, but 


not literally so ; that, if Cromwell's soldiers carried the Bible 
in their knapsacks, it was not the whole Bible ; that " The 
Soldiers' Pocket Bible " consisted of appropriate selections 
from the Scriptures, printed in pamphlet form, and was gen- 
erally buttoned between the coat and waistcoat, next to the 
heart, — " proving, perhaps, sometimes, a defence from the 
weapons of the enemies of their bodies, as well as from the 
Wicked One who sought to subdue their souls." He remarked, 
that but few copies of this curious Bible had been preserved, 
and that probably the copy he possessed was the only one in 
the country. He then gives a brief description of it. He had 
had it some years, having received it from his friend Mr. 
Crowninshield, to whom it had been sent from London. The 
book was afterwards reprinted by Mr. Livermore. 

To afford some idea of the character of Mr. Livermore's 
library at this time, the following description of it is given. 
It was written by Mr. Livermore himself, by request.* 

'* Nearly a quarter part of the entire collection consists of Bibles 
and Biblical works, in various languages, versions and forms, from the 
ancient Hebrew manuscript roll, to the most modern translation of our 
own times. 

" Among the manuscripts of interest is The Pentateuch, carefully writ- 
ten on thirty-six skins of parchment, and measuring fifty-eight feet in 
length, and one foot in breadth. This fine apograph is rolled upon a 
pair of handles, and enclosed in an embroidered silk cover. It was 
formerly used in a Jewish synagogue, and is a good specimen of an 
ancient volume, or rolled book. 

" Two copies of the Bible entire, in the Latin Vulgate version, written 
by monks in the Middle Ages upon the most delicate vellum, are elabo- 
rately illuminated with beautiful initial letters, figures, and miniatures. 
They are of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Each was, perhaps, the 
work of a whole life. 

" To these may be added an Evangelistarium, or selections from the 
Gospels, for the use of the church, written on parchment in the eighth 

* It should be stated here, that Mr. Livermore was largely indebted to our country- 
man and Corresponding Member, Mr. Henry Stevens, of London, for assistance in pro- 
curing many of the valuable books contained in his library. His correspondence with 
this eminent bibliographer must have covered a period of nearly twenty years. 


century, seven hundred years before the invention of printing, one of 
the oldest books, if not the oldest, in this country. It was obtained at 
the sale of the library of the Rev. Dr. Haw trey, Provost of Eton. 

" The Book of Job, a metrical version, by George Sandys, is supposed 
to be the original autograph copy of the author. It was formerly in 
the library of the late Duke of Sussex, and is particularly described by 
Dr. Pettigrew, in the ' Bibliotheca Sussexiana.' 

"Next in order to the manuscripts is the BIB LI A PAU- 
PERUM, a block book, or series of wood-cuts, representing Scripture 
subjects, with a few lines of text coarsely engraved upon the same page. 
The precise date is not known, but bibliographers are generally agreed 
in the opinion that it was printed as early as the year 1440. 

" There is in this library a fragment of the celebrated MAZAEIN 
BIBLE, the first book ever printed. Although the date does not ap- 
pear, this work is well known to have been the first that issued from 
the press of Gutenberg, and to have been completed in the year 1455. 
Mr. L. has also the New Testament printed by Faust in 1462, being 
the first in which the date is given, and quite a number of Bibles pub- 
lished within the first half-century from the invention of printing. 
Servetus's Bible, published in Lyons, 1542, is a very rare work. The 
entire edition was ordered to be burnt, by the Roman Catholic authori- 
ties, on account of the supposed heretical sentiments contained in the 
preface and in some of the notes. The author, in 1553, shared the 
same fate with his Bible. He was burned alive for heresy ; and as 
many of the Bibles as could then be found were used to kindle the 
wood at the time of his martyrdom. But very few copies escaped the 
flames, and there is probably no other in this country. 

" Cromwell's Soldiers' Pocket Bible, of which only one other copy is 
known to be extant, is a great curiosity. It consists of selections from 
the Scriptures, published in 1643, for the use of the army during the 
civil wars. Here are copies of both editions of Eliot's Indian Bible, — 
the first containing the rare dedication to King Charles II., of which 
only twenty copies were printed ; and a perfect copy of the Commentary 
of Nicholas de Lyra, beautifully printed in black letter, in 1483, being 
the first work of the kind ever published. 

" Of English versions, Mr. L. has all the editions of Wyclif, several 
of Coverdale, Tyndale, Cranmer, the Genevan, the Bishops, the Douay, 
and the most remarkable editions of our present authorized version, 
from the first black-letter folio of 1611 to the recent revision of the 
American Bible Society. 


" A splendid unique large-paper copy of Reeves's Bible, with several 
hundred original water-color illustrations, by Harris, of London, and a 
New Testament printed entirely in letters of gold, were added to the 
collection on account of their beauty as works of art. 

" A special interest attaches to some copies of the Scriptures in Mr. 
Livermore's library, on account of their former ownership. The Venice 
edition of the Latin Vulgate, 1478, was once the property of the un- 
fortunate Pope Pius VI., and has his arms stamped upon the covers. 
On the same shelf stands Melancthon's own copy of the Bible, with 
numerous notes on the margins in the handwriting of the Reformer. A 
copy of the Geneva version, presented by Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin to' 
the late Rev. Dr. Homer, of Newton (from whose library it was pur- 
chased), was supposed by its former owners to have been the identical 
copy presented by the printer to Queen Elizabeth. The royal arms 
can still be traced on the covers. It was printed in 1576. But the 
Bible of Adam Winthrop, of Groton, England, the father of the first 
Governor of Massachusetts, is more highly prized by the present pro- 

" A manuscript Koran, brought many years ago from Turkey, by 
Edward Wortley Montagu, and the Book of Mormon, with the auto- 
graph of Joseph Smith, possess an interest of a different kind. 

" Mr. L. has, in a large portfolio, THE LORD'S PRAYER 
in more than eight hundred languages and dialects. This remarkable 
work was printed at the Imperial Office, in Vienna, and exhibited, as 
the contribution of the Emperor of Austria, at the World's Fair in 
London. Only a few copies were allowed to be sold. 

" It may be mentioned that the only two New-England subscribers to 
Halliwell's magnificent edition of Shakespeare, now publishing in Eng- 
land, in twenty folio volumes, and limited to one hundred and fifty- 
copies, are near neighbors to each other, — Mr. Hosmer and Mr. 

" Mr. Livermore has from his boyhood been much interested in the 
subject of general bibliography ; and he has collected a considerable 
number of the best works on this subject, including typographical an- 
tiquities, and accounts of the most celebrated public and private libra- 
ries. In this department may be found nearly all the publications of 
Dibdin, several of them presentation copies from the author; works 
from the presses of Gutenberg, Faust, Caxton, Wynken de Worde, 
Pynson, Baskerville, Stephen Daye, the first American printer, Dr. 
Franklin, and nearly all the most famous printers in Europe and 


America; also privately printed books from Strawberry Hill, Lee 
Priory, the Roxburghe and other clubs. We might mention many 
other curious and rare volumes. The larger part of this library consists 
of standard works of English literature, history, biography, poetry, &c, 
&c, — the best editions of the best authors." * 

A worthy " Tribute to the Memory of James Johnson," " a 
merchant of the old school/' was contributed by Mr. Liver- 
more to the " Boston Daily Advertiser/' of May 4th, 1855. 
A few copies of the " Tribute " were subsequently reprinted 
by the friends of the deceased, for private distribution. 

This year Mr. Livermore was elected a member of the 
" American Academy of Arts and Sciences," and he was 
treasurer of that institution at the time of his death. 

Thomas Dowse, the leather-dresser of Cambridgeport, the 
collector of the magnificent Library, estimated to have cost 
over forty thousand dollars, was a near neighbor and friend 
of Mr. Livermore. He was a bachelor, of a quiet, retiring 
disposition, somewhat odd withal, and he admitted few to 
his intimacy. Mr. Livermore's warm-hearted disinterested- 
ness won his confidence, and his love and knowledge of 
books made him a most desirable companion. As old age 
grew upon Mr. Dowse, and his infirmities increased, Mr. 
Livermore made it a point to visit him almost daily. The 
circumstances of the gift of his library to this Society, in 
1856, and its transfer to their rooms the next year, are 
related in the " Proceedings " for those years, — and also in 
those for September, 1865, in the tributes paid to Mr. Liver- 
more by members of the Society. f 

* See "A Glance at Private Libraries," by Luther Farnham, Boston, 1855. 

| Mr. Dowse had had many plans for the disposition of his library, but he could 
decide on nothing. When Mr. Quincy was President of the College, a proposal was 
made by him to Mr. Dowse, that, if he would present his library to that institution, a 
fire-proof building should be constructed to receive it, and other provisions made for 
its safe-keeping for ever; but nothing came of it. In September, 1853, early in 
the Presidency of Dr. Walker, Mr. Dowse's health seemed to be failing, and he felt 
anxious about _his library, being at a loss what disposition to make of it, when Mr. 
Livermore, on his behalf, informally conferred with Dr. Walker as to the probability 



Mr. Livermore and Mr. Eben. Dale were appointed execu- 
tors and trustees under Mr. Dowse's will. By this instru- 
ment a considerable sum was left to the trustees, to dispose 
of according to their judgment, under certain general instruc- 
tions. The charge for fitting up the room now known as 
" The Dowse Library of the Massachusetts Historical Society," 
amounting to about three thousand dollars, was defrayed by 
the trustees, who in addition gave the Society ten thousand 
dollars as a fund, the income of which was to be devoted to 
the care and administration of the library. 

The trustees contributed also a fund of ten thousand dollars 
for the establishment, in Cambridge, of a " Dowse Institute," 
for public lectures, &c. This sum was paid over .to the city 
of Cambridge, which, in return, agreed to pay annually, for- 
ever, to the trustees of the Institute, six hundred dollars. 

Mr. Dowse's fine collection of paintings in water-colors was 
given to the Boston Athenaeum, of which institution Mr. Liv- 
ermore was a trustee. 

In 1859 Mr. Livermore was elected a member of the 
Executive Committee of the " American Unitarian Associa- 
tion," and he almost invariably attended its monthly meetings. 
In 1864 he was elected Vice-President of the Association, 
a position which he held at his death. Besides giving his 
active personal services, he was a liberal contributor to its 

of the College consenting to receive it, if it should be offered, on the terms intimated: 
namely, that a separate fire-proof building should be erected for it, that none of the 
volumes should be taken from it, &c. Dr. Walker, of course, had no authority, of him- 
self, to accept or to decline such an offer, had it been made ; and he had no wish to 
divert such a gift from the College : but he saw that the terms suggested would involve 
a serious expense to the Corporation, without an equivalent. He, however, assured Mr. 
Livermore, that, without doubt, if the library should be presented to the College, 
arrangements would be made to give it a place by itself in Gore Hall. 

There seemed at one time to be danger that this collection of books would come to 
the hammer. Mr. Dowse once offered to give it to Mr. Livermore, who, of course, 
declined it. Mr. Dowse finally proposed to place his library in the custody of this 
Society, of which his friend, Mr. Livermore, was a prominent member. This suggestion 
was warmly seconded by Mr. Livermore, and to him is the Society largely indebted for 
the final disposition made of this noble library. 


On the 30th of April, 1860, we find him collecting the sub- 
scriptions, which he had before solicited, for the " Quincy 
statue/ 7 as the treasurer wishes to remit the first instalment, 
of two thousand dollars, by the next Wednesday's steamer. 
This refers to the statue of President Quincy by Story, yet 
in the studio of the artist in Rome. 

The copy of the " Soldiers' Pocket Bible " belonging to Mr. 
Livermore, has been already referred to. It was very rare ; only 
one other copy was known to exist, and that was in the British 
Museum. He had for some time thought of reprinting it for 
distribution among his friends, — " for the saints," as he used 
playfully to style those for whom he designed the few copies 
of any work privately got up by him. In 1861, Mr. Hough- 
ton, of the Riverside Press, printed for him one hundred 
copies, in facsimile^ He at the same time had ten copies 
printed on parchment, three on vellum, and two on India 
paper.* It came from the press about the 1st of June. 
The American Tract Society, in both its branches, thinking 
it would serve a useful purpose as a religious manual for 
the soldiers in our army, reprinted it in large numbers as a 
tract. How extensively it was circulated among the soldiers, 
and how much good it accomplished, we have no means 
of knowing. The book, in the original, is a 12mo, or 16mo, 
of 16 pages. It is made up of passages from the Bible, or 
rather from the Old Testament, — there being but two cita- 
tions from the New Testament. Those passages in which 
God's chosen people are referred to as fighting God's enemies 
are introduced. Cromwell's soldiers no doubt felt, as did the 
Jews, that they were the Lord's " elect" ; and this little volume 
may have served to nerve them to the conflict. It may well 
be doubted if such a tract would better the condition of our 
soldiers at this day, either morally or mentally ; or improve 
them as fighting men. Its chief value now must be historical. 

* Through Mr. Livermore the attention of Mr. Francis Fry had been called to the 
Soldiers' Pocket Bible," and he had an edition in facsimile printed in England, in 


In 1862 a reprint of the " Bay Psalm Book," consisting of 
fifty copies, on laid paper, was executed by Mr. Houghton, 
for Charles B. Richardson, a bookseller in New York. Mr. 
Livermore's name appears on the list of subscribers for one 
of the fifty copies. But he secured, also, one copy to be 
struck off on parchment, — the only one printed. There were 
at the same time five copies printed on India paper, of which 
Mr. Livermore's library contains one. 

The proof-sheets of this reprint of the " Bay Psalm Book v 
were revised and corrected by our associate, Mayor Shurt- 
leff, who, in his introduction to the volume, says, — " In the 
reproduction of this quaint volume, every word, every letter, 
and indeed every point, has been sedulously collated with a 
perfect impression of the original work struck at Cambridge 
in the year 1640." 

At the annual meeting of the American Antiquarian Society, 
at Worcester, in October, 1864, Mr. Livermore read the report 
of the Council. The principal theme dwelt upon in this 
paper was suggested by the recent decease of Mr. Quincy. 
He gave an analysis of Mr'. Quincy's writings, and endeavored 
to show that each of his works had been the product of his 
personal experience in the active duties in which he had been 
engaged through life. It was an admirably conceived and 
an admirably written paper. A few copies were struck off 
separately from the pamphlet of " Proceedings," for private 

And here we are reminded that, from the time Mr. Liver- 
more was elected a member of our sister society at Worcester, 
he rarely failed to attend its meetings, whether held in that 
city or in Boston. Nothing but the most imperative engage- 
ments ever kept him away from the annual meetings, which 
are always held in Worcester. The ride through that beau- 

1862, from the only other original copy known, that in the British Museum. He also, 
the same year, reproduced in facsimile an edition of " The Christian Soldier's Penny 
Bible," from a copy of the original edition in his possession, dated London, 1693, — 
a little manual of sixteen pages. 


tiful part of the State, with his associates, the Boston mem- 
bers, in that season of the year when the foliage puts on its 
brilliant and varied hue, could not fail to have an attraction 
for him in itself. Then the warm greeting he was sure to 
receive at " Antiquarian Hall," from the " grave and reverend 
seigniors" there assembled, including always Governor Lin- 
coln and Judge Barton, — " not dead, but gone before " ; then 
the mental repast served up to the meeting in the Report of 
the Council, of which the Librarian's Report — invariably so 
rich in curious learning, and keen and wholesome criticism — 
always forms a part ; and, finally, the elegant hospitality of 
the President of the Society : to share all this, was a rare 
treat to our friend; and the 21st of October was a red-letter 
day in Mr. Livermore's calendar. 

In November, 1864, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes delivered 
a lecture before the " Dowse Institute " in Cambridge, entitled 
" New England's Master-Key " ; in the course of which he 
endeavored to show what had been accomplished by those 
who had devoted their literary labors to one special object ; 
and he instanced among others, as illustrating the truth of his 
remark, George Livermore. 

Reference was made to Mr. Livermore's copartnership with 
his brother Isaac, in 1838. The older brother retired from 
the business in 1846; and Mr. Livermore, for the five fol- 
lowing years, continued on in company with a nephew. After 
remaining alone about a year, he was, in 1852, invited to a 
partnership in the Boston branch of the extensive wool busi- 
ness of Aaron Erickson, of Rochester, N. Y., which subsisted 
until 1857, when the firm of " Livermore & Morse " was 
formed, which was dissolved only by his death. 

Mr. Livermore took pride in his calling as a merchant, and 
for many years devoted his best energies during the hours 
of business to its demands. He was conservative and cautious 
in his business views, and was uneasy under large pecuniary 
responsibilities, preferring small gains with corresponding 


safety to the pursuit of larger acquisitions with the usual at- 
tendant risks. He had the satisfaction through life of always 
meeting his engagements. 

The financial storm which swept over the country in the 
autumn of 1857, prostrating almost everything before it, was 
of fearful portent to our friend. He felt that all he had 
was gone, and that the only thing left was to maintain his 
mercantile honor and credit, which was done. The speedy 
recurrence, three years later, of a similar crisis, occasioned 
by the breaking out of the Rebellion, was another trial, which 
taxed the highest energies of every merchant who had accept- 
ances to meet, or notes to pay. But when the government 
began to call out the troops, which had to be clothed and fed 
and provided with all the equipments of war, such a demand 
was made upon the raw material and industry of the country, 
that, with the added influence of the suspension of specie 
payments, and consequent appreciation of merchandise, all 
embarrassments were removed, and, in the next few years, 
large fortunes were realized by many. Mr. Livermore 
shared in this success ; and, during the war, acquired an 
amount of property such as previously he had been a 
stranger to. 

On the actual breaking out of the Rebellion, Mr. Livermore 
threw himself into the cause of the Union with all his charac- 
teristic energy and zeal. With him there was no temporizing, 
no " good Lord " and " good Devil." His trumpet gave no 
uncertain sound. He attended recruiting-meetings, joined a 
" Home Guard," and drilled and marched for miles, at times, 
with a musket on his shoulder, which, with his frail and 
delicate frame, was almost like bearing his cross. As his 
means enabled him, he gave freely ; and, throughout the 
war, he poured out his money like water for the cause.* 

* In the second year of the war, when it was proposed to raise a fund for the relief 
of the families of the soldiers of Cambridge, the following letter from Mr. Livermore 


As he could not go to the field, he considered himself bound 
to do in other ways all that lay in his power to maintain the 
integrity of the Union. One of his sons was in the army, but 
that did not absolve him from duty. During the twelve 
months which preceded his death he spent for public objects 
and for private charities nearly twenty-five thousand dollars. 
Not content with all this, when the discussion arose whether 
the government should accept colored troops, and there were 
strong doubts even among the most loyal as to its expediency, 
he prepared with great labor, and published at great expense, a 
work of over two hundred pages, which he entitled " An His- 
torical Research respecting the Opinions of the Founders of 
the Republic, on Negroes as Slaves, as Citizens, and as Sol- 
diers." The substance of this work was read before this Soci- 
ety at a stated meeting, 14th August, 1862 ; and the President 
of the Society, Mr. Winthrop, has since said of it, that it would 
alone have been " enough to secure for him a reputation 
which any of us might envy." His purpose was to show 

was read to a meeting of citizens held for the consideration of this subject at the City 
Hall: — 

" Dana Hill, Aug. 9, 1862. 
" Hon. J. M. S. Williams. 

"My dear Sir, — I cannot be present with you, in person, this evening, as 1 had in- 
tended, but you need not be told that my heart is with you. The more I reflect on the 
subject of the proposed fund of twenty-five thousand dollars for the relief of the families 
of the soldiers, by the way of insurance on their lives, and in the other manner suggested in 
the circular of the Committee, the more I am convinced of the merit and excellence of the 
plan ; and I ask you to alter my subscription from five hundred dollars to one thousand 
dollars. To save the Committee the trouble of collecting this amount, I now enclose a 
United-States Treasury-note for the sum, with interest at seven and three-tenths per 
cent. I have been much gratified at the readiness of our citizens to respond to this 
call. The whole sum of twenty-five thousand dollars will be made up, I am sure, in a 
few days, if it is not secured at the meeting this evening. When this subscription is 
full, we must all be ready for something else. Until the war is over, we must dedicate 
our time, our money, our lives, — and, what may be dearer to us than any of these, our 
brothers and sons, — to the service of our country. When we are thoroughly aroused 
to the value of the liberty we are defending, we shall feel that no sacrifice is too great 
for us to make in its behalf. And when we rise to this point of patriotism, God will 
surely crown our cause with complete success. 

" I am, very truly, yours, 

" George Livermore." 


that the patriots of the .Revolution regarded the negro as a 
man, capable of bearing arms, and of being a citizen ; and 
he saw no reason why he should not be allowed to do his part, 
side by side with his white brother, in upholding the flag of 
his country. 

"Among the agencies which swayed the public mind at 
that time," says a distinguished civilian, " this publication 
cannot be forgotten." Attorney-General Bates acknowledged 
his obligation to it in making up his opinions on the status of 
the negro ; and " it is within nry own knowledge," says Sen- 
ator Sumner, " that it interested President Lincoln much. The 
President expressed a desire to consult it while he was pre- 
paring the final Proclamation of Emancipation ; * and, as his 
own copy was mislaid, he requested me to send him mine, 
which I did." f 

This work was issued in five different editions, in a most 
luxurious style j fifty copies of two of the editions having 
been printed on " large paper." The most of the copies were 
distributed gratuitously. The whole cost of this work, some 
three or four thousand dollars, was borne by Mr. Livermore 
himself. A pamphlet of eight pages of extracts from it was 
published soon after, in Philadelphia, by Henry C. Baird, en- 
titled " George Washington and General Jackson on Negro 
Soldiers," of which over one hundred thousand copies were 
printed. J 

While declining all official positions, Mr. Livermore was in 
frequent correspondence with leading politicians and states- 
men, and with some of them maintained the most intimate 
and confidential relations. 

* The pen with which Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation was 
presented to Mr. Livermore by the President, and was treasured among his cherished 

f See notice of " The Death of George Livermore," in the " Boston Daily Adver- 
tiser," Sept. 2, 1865. 

$ In 1864, there was issued from the "Riverside Press" of Mr. Houghton the first 
volume of a new edition of "The Federalist," edited by Mr. Henry B. Dawson, of 
Morrisania, N. Y., and dedicated to Mr. Livermore in warm and flattering terms. 


The following extract of a letter from Mr. Livermore, dated 
March 30th, 1863, written in reply to one addressed to him, 
containing a memorial of a young gentleman of rare culture 
and social position, who enlisted in the army as a common 
soldier, and lost his life in the service, shows the same devo- 
tion to the cause of his country, — a devotion which con- 
tinued to the last. 

" I never had the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with Mr. 

H ; but I knew of his talents, his genius, his patriotism, and his 

general worth. I honor his memory more than any poor words at my 
command can express. I should value more the honorable record of 
such a life, brief though it might be, than the showier demonstrations 
which begin and end with popular applause. This wicked war, con- 
ceived in sin and slavery, and waged for the destruction of national 
liberty, — how costly are the sacrifices which it demands ! You and I, 
my dear friend, will yet have to make still greater offerings for our 
country, before the strife is ended. But nothing we have or are can be 
too much to bestow, be it all our means, our friends, our children, and 
our own lives, if we can redeem our nation, and establish it on the sure 
foundation of Justice and Liberty. The nation will be saved, and will 
rise from its degradation and sorrow. But we must suffer more before 
the glorious day shall dawn." 

Mr. Livermore's constitution, as has been already stated, 
was feeble, and his health was poor through life. But he 
had a strong will, which carried him through difficulties from 
which many of more robust constitutions would have shrunk. 
During the winter of 1864-65, his health seemed feebler 
than usual. The issues of the war, now rapidly culminating, 
affected him intensely ; and as the spring opened, bringing 
with it the joyful events of the downfall of Richmond and 
the capture of Lee, so soon followed by the terrible tragedy 
of the death of President Lincoln, his delicate organization 
received a shock almost beyond what it could bear. 

A few days after the assassination at Washington, he attend- 
ed a meeting of the Historical Society, and in some remarks 
relative to that event enjoined upon the members the duty of 



self-consecration, anew, to the service of their country. He 
was deeply affected, and spoke with intense feeling. 

At the following meeting, in May, he was likewise present. 
In the latter part of that month he went to West Point on 
a brief visit to his son. On Wednesday, the 24th, having 
returned, he writes from his residence on Dana Hill, — "I 
came home from West Point on Monday with a lame leg, 
which is likely to keep me a prisoner in my house for some 
time ; otherwise, I should call and see you." * 

He seemed to be getting better during the few weeks fol- 
lowing, and received the visits of some of his friends. He 
was much interested in the Eulogy on President Lincoln, 
pronounced by his friend, Mr. Sumner, on the 1st of June, 
at the Music Hall, a copy of which in print was furnished 
him on the day of its delivery, — the Eulogy having been 
delivered by Mr. Sumner from the printed sheets. But 
towards the last of June, he had a relapse from which he 
never recovered. On the 28th of July he writes, — "I feel 
more comfortable this morning than I have done since my 
last relapse, four weeks ago ; and although confined to 
my bed, and only allowed to read a little each day, and 
forbidden to see company, I manage to maintain my faith 
and patience thus far. The doctor does not dream that I 
write. I would not ask his permission, for fear of being 
denied. I have a curious and convenient table, which 
projects over my bed; and I can, whilst reclining, use 
my pen a few moments each day very comfortably. I thank 
you for your kind note of the 15th. It is nearly ten weeks, 
now, since I have been shut out from the active duties of 
life, and a word from a friend is cheering. Although the 
doctors say I must not see company, there is hardly a day 
when I should not see you for a few moments if you called, 
and I should be blest by the sight." During a brief inter- 

. m __ . 

* His infirmity proved to be phlebitis, or inflammation of the veins. 


view with him, three days after this, though pale and much 
emaciated, he seemed in most excellent spirits. He was full 
of hope and of gratitude. He probably then had not given up 
all thoughts of recovery, and of being restored to his friends 
and the active duties of life. But it was otherwise ordered. 
Three days before his death he was attacked with paralysis, 
and he died on the 30th of August. 

In this notice of Mr. Livermore, the purpose has not been 
to pronounce a eulogy upon him, but to state some of the 
principal facts of his life, agreeably to the custom followed 
by the Historical Society in the Memoirs of its deceased 
members. The estimation in which Mr. Livermore was held 
in the community, — and, indeed, by all who knew him, — 
and the great loss sustained in his death, were attempted 
to be expressed, at the first meeting of the Society follow- 
ing that event, in remarks by the President and some of the 
associate members, which were published in the " Proceed- 
ings." * Other societies and associations with which he was 
connected bore a United and willing testimony to his great 
worth. Reference may also be made to an admirable dis- 
course, entitled " The Consecrated Life," preached to the 
Cambridgeport Parish, on the 3d of September, 1865, by 
the pastor, the Rev. Henry C. Badger ; likewise to the elo- 
quent and appreciative sermon, entitled " The Public Duty 
of a Private Citizen," preached in the South Congregational 
Church, Boston, on the same Sunday, by our associate, the 
Rev. Edward E. Hale. An interesting article in the " At- 
lantic Monthly " for November, 1865, entitled " The Visible 
and Invisible in Libraries," written by Mrs. Waterston, con- 
tains the following passage in reference to our friend and 
to his exquisite library : — 

* A beautiful tribute to the moral and religious traits of Mr. Livermore's character 
was at this time paid by his friend, our associate, Mr. Folsom, — now himself prostrated 
on a bed of sickness, — in the form of a letter to Admiral Farragut, which was read at 
the meeting, and printed in the " Proceedings." 


"The silent library of George Livermore speaks eloquently of 
him. That collection, gathered with a love which increased as years 
advanced, includes ancient copies of the Bible of rarest value. His 
life was a book, written over with good deeds and pure thoughts, illu- 
minated by holy aspirations. That volume is closed, but the spirit 
which rendered it precious is not withdrawn : living in many hearts, 
it will continue to be a cherished presence in the world, the home, 
and the library." * 

Nothing could be added, were it desired, to these tributes 
to our loved and lamented associate. 

Mr. Livermore left three sons, his only children : the eld- 
est, Frank, now a physician, settled in Paris in the practice 
of his profession ; the second, William Roscoe, a graduate of 
West Point, in high standing, connected with the engineer 
department of the United-States Army; the third, Charles 
Cunningham, residing with his mother in Cambridge. 

* Mr. Livermore's residence was on the corner of Dana and Main Streets, on " Dana 
Hill," just within the limits of " Old Cambridge," where he lived for nearly twenty-five 
years. A few years before his death he built an addition to his house, of a library- 
room, for the better accommodation of his books. It is a charming apartment, and 
everything remains just as he left it. By his will, his library was bequeathed to his 



A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, Thursday, February 11th, at eleven o'clock, 
a.m. ; the President in the chair. 

In the absence of the Recording Secretary, the rec- 
ords were read by the Corresponding Secretary. 

The Librarian being absent, the reading of his report 
was omitted. 

Donations had been received since the last meeting 
from the State of Iowa; the State of New Hampshire; 
the State of New Jersey; the Town of Pittsfield; the 
American Colonization Society ; the American Congre- 
gational Association ; the American Philosophical Soci- 
ety ; the Boston Athenseum ; the Essex Institute ; the 
New York Historical Society ; Oberlausitzische Gesell- 
schaft der Wissenschaften zu Gorlitz ; the Society of 
Antiquaries of London ; the State Historical Society of 
Iowa ; the State Historical Society of Wisconsin ; Trus- 
tees of the Public Library of the City of Boston; the 
Publishers of the "Book Buyer"; Hon. John R. Bart- 
lett ; Rev. Caleb D. Bradlee ; Joseph Burnett, Esq. ; 
Adj.-Gen. J. H. Caldwell; T. B. Dexter, Esq. ; John H. 
Ellis, Esq. ; Benjamin P. Johnson, Esq. ; George H. 
Moore, Esq. ; Joel Munsell, Esq. ; C. W. Slack, Esq. ; 
Rev. E. F. Slafter; Rev. Edwin M. Stone; Henry V. 
Poor, Esq. ; Charles K. Whipple, Esq., and from Messrs. 
Brigham, W. G. Brooks, Deane, Denny, Green, Law- 
rence, C. Robbins, and Wheatland, of the Society. 


The Cabinet-keeper reported the following gifts to the 
Cabinet, — all, except the last, from the President : — 

A small piece of wood "taken from the old Franklin 
House, corner of Union Street, sign of the Blue Ball, 
while the workmen were taking it down, this 10th of 
November, 1858": — 

A piece of the first Atlantic Telegraph Cable, accom- 
panied by the certificate (in facsimile) of Cyrus W. 
Field, dated 21st August, 1858, saying that he had 
sold the balance of the cable to Messrs. Tiffany & Co., 
Jewellers, No. 550, Broadway, New York; and that the 
accompanying piece was a genuine section thereof : — 

A beautiful photograph, enclosed in an appropriate 
frame, of " The Trustees of the Peabody Educational 
Fund, for the Southern States " ; the picture including 
the portrait of Mr. Peabody, the founder of this trust : — 

A framed steel engraving of P. Stuyvesant, and a 
framed lithograph of Washington : — 

A stereoscopic view, in photograph, of Dighton Rock, 
presented by George C. Burgess, of Dighton, Mass. 

The Corresponding Secretary, Dr. Pobbins, read a 
letter of acceptance from Dr. John Appleton, who had 
been elected a Resident Member at the last meeting, 
but whose death took place on the 4th of February, 
six days after his letter of acceptance had been signed 
by him. After the reading of this letter, Dr. Robbins 
spoke as follows : 

" I am well aware, Mr. President, that the regular call for 
the reading of the Society's correspondence carries with it 
no privilege of offering remarks upon any subject; and nothing 
but your request, founded on a peculiar circumstance, — I 

1869.] DE. JOHN APPLETON. 471 

might say an impressive coincidence, — would induce me, on 
the present occasion, to depart from the usual order. You 
have desired me, Sir, to announce the death of Dr. John 
Appleton in connection with the reading of his letter, to 
which we have just listened. 

" It is only a month ago, at the stated meeting in Jan- 
uary, that he was unanimously elected a Resident Member. 
We had no suspicion then, that he might not live as long as 
any one of us. We certainly hoped that the Society might 
have, for many years, the benefit of those valuable services 
which we knew he was competent to perform, and would be 
disposed to render. But before he could have the opportu- 
nity to take his seat among us, where he would have received 
an unaffected welcome, — before even his acceptance could 
be communicated, — his mortal life has ended. He was already 
extremely and dangerously ill when he received official notice 
of his election. But he was not too far exhausted to be 
pleasantly affected by such an unequivocal token of our 
esteem. His letter, as we have seen, gives graceful ex- 
pression to this feeling. It was dictated in a faint voice to 
one of his family, and only with difficulty subscribed by him- 
self. It was, I believe, the last time that his name was writ- 
ten by his own hand. To those who are familiar with his fair 
and firm chirography, it is very touching to see this feeble 
and tremulous signature. 

" It is now, if I rightly remember, about fifteen years since 
Dr. Appleton was first employed by this Society, on a small 
salary contributed by several of its wealthy and liberal asso- 
ciates, to prepare a Catalogue of the Library. The value of 
his labors, and his rare bibliographical attainments, soon 
became manifest to the committee who had charge of the 
work ; and were cordially acknowledged by them, and appa- 
rent to all, when, in September, 1854, the completed Cata- 
logue, in two octavo volumes, of nearly fourteen hundred 
pages, was laid before the Society. From that time to the 


present he has served the Society faithfully and ably, not only 
as Assistant Librarian, but by aiding the various Committees 
of Publication in preparing the ' Collections ' and ' Proceed- 
ings 7 for the press. 

" The different official relations which brought me into 
constant and close intercourse with him from the first day 
of his connection with the Library to the last, have afforded 
the best of opportunities to estimate him fairly. I feel that 
I have a right to speak of him, and just cause to speak of him 
warmly. His acquirements in bibliography, history, and 
general literature, were apparent to all ; but his great personal 
virtues — his purity, amiability, modesty, cheerfulness, sinceri- 
ty, and Christian integrity, — could only be fully appreciated 
by his intimate associates. Those are the qualities which 
endeared him to those who knew him best, while he was liv- 
ing, and which, now that he is dead, make his memory precious. 
He has left behind him, among men, a good name, and in the 
hearts of his friends a lovely and almost spotless image." 

The President then said : — 

" I concur entirely, gentlemen, in all that Dr. Robbins has so 
well said in regard to our deceased friend, Dr. Appleton. It 
would not be easy to over-estimate the value of the services 
he has rendered us during the fourteen or fifteen years since 
he became associated with the Society. His fidelity and 
diligence in preparing and continuing the Catalogue of our 
library ; his laborious exactness as a proof-reader, in the pub- 
lication of our various volumes ; his eager and untiring in- 
vestigations, whenever a doubt existed as to any matter of 
phraseology or matter of fact ; and the intelligent criticism 
which he brought to bear upon all disputed points of personal 
or public history, were of the greatest importance to the 
work in which we have been engaged. His daily presence 
in our rooms for so long a period, and the personal courtesy 
and kindness with which he met all our calls and inquiries, 


will not be soon forgotten by any of us. The unanimous vote 
at the last meeting, electing him to a resident membership, 
as soon as he had ceased to hold a salaried office, was the 
best evidence of our appreciation of his accomplishments. 
I rejoice that his election was in season to be, as we learn it 
was, among the special satisfactions of his last days. With 
the authority of the Standing Committee, I propose the fol- 
lowing resolution : — 

" Resolved, — That we have learned with deep sorrow of the death 
of our associate, Dr. John Appleton, who had served us so long and so 
faithfully as our Assistant Librarian, and that Mr. Deane be appointed 
to prepare a Memoir of him for some future volume of ' Proceedings.' " 

The resolution was unanimously adopted. 

The President announced the death of a Correspond- 
ing Member, Miss Frances M. Caulkins, of New London, 
Conn., which took place on Wednesday, the 3d of Feb- 
ruary, and spoke as follows : — 

" Before passing to other subjects, I must not fail to notice, 
in a few words, the death of our Corresponding Member, Miss 
Frances Manwaring Caulkins, the only lady, I believe, whose 
name has ever appeared on our rolls. I think it will be 
acknowledged by all that Miss Caulkins had fairly won this 
distinction. Hannah Adams, the first tenant of Mount Au- 
burn, whose History of New England is well remembered, 
might, indeed, have contested it with her, had she lived 
nearer to the time when women are regarded as candidates 
for public honors. But I can recall no other female historian 
in New England. Miss Caulkins had an earnest enthusiasm 
for historical research, which the infirmities of physical health 
could not repress ; and two admirable volumes, abounding in 
facts and details which demanded the most painstaking in- 
vestigation, were the fruits of her labors. ' Though nominally 
town histories, — the Histories of New London (her birth- 
place) and Norwich, — they are replete with information in 



regard to the early history of Connecticut, and form together 
an important contribution to the history of New England. 

" Miss Caulkins was a woman of many estimable qualities of 
mind and heart. She was a devout Christian, and employed 
her pen frequently in religious writings. She had a pretty 
gift of poetry too ; and more than one tradition of the olden 
time, or incident of the passing hour, have been embalmed in 
her spirited lines. I have repeatedly calle'd upon her during 
my visits to ancestral scenes in New London, and gladly avail 
myself of this occasion to pay this little tribute to her memory. 
She died on the 3d inst., at the age of seventy-three." 

The President laid on the table as gifts from Count 
Adolphe de Circourt, an Honorary Member, two pam- 
phlets ; viz. ? the " Annales des Voyages," for September, 
1868, and the " Revue Chretienne," No. 8, for August, 
1867 ; both of which contained articles from the pen of 
the accomplished donor. 

Rev. Edmond de Pressense, of Paris, was elected a 
Corresponding Member. 

The following letter was read by the President : — 

Boston, January 20th, 1869. 
Hon. K. C. Winthkop, 

President Mass. Historical Society. 
Sir, — As Secretary of the Boston Athenceum, I am directed to 
acknowledge to you, as President of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, the receipt, through Mr. Deane, of a MS. diary of Ezekiel 
Price, the property of the Athenaeum, which had accidentally, some 
years since, passed into the possession of the Historical Society. I am 
also directed to express to you the thanks of the Trustees of the Athe- 
naeum for the recovery of this interesting document. 
I have the honor to be, &c, 

C. F. Adams, Jr. 

A letter was read from Colonel Theodore Lyman, 
presenting to the Library of the Society a copy of the 


Ulster-County " Gazettee," Vol. II. No. 88, of date 
January 4, 1800, containing notices of the death of 
General Washington. The copy is apparently one 
of a modern reprint. The acknowledgments of the 
Society were ordered for the gift. 

A letter was read from George H. Fassett, of Ashta- 
bula, Ohio, enclosing a printed letter of Governor 
Joseph Dudley, dated " Roxbury, Mass., March 25th, 
1709," and addressed "to Majr Winthrop and Mr. 
President Leverett, N. York," it being a letter of instruc- 
tions to those gentlemen who had been sent as agents 
to New York in behalf of Massachusetts, in regard to 
the war then pending with the French. The writer 
says he has the original of the printed letter. 

The President read the following letter from our Cor- 
responding Member, Mr. George T. Curtis, of New 
'York : — 

New York, Jan. 17, 1869. 
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, Boston. 

My dear Sir, — I send you a document which should by all 
means be in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

It is' a long autograph letter, of " Nathan Dane, of Beverly," 
to Mr. Webster, in 1830, concerning the formation of the Ordinance of 
1787. It is too long a letter, and enters too much into detail, to allow 
of my making any use of it. But it is a curious and important letter, 
which can find its appropriate home nowhere but in the collections of 

your Society. 

Yours, with much regard, 

Geo. Ticknor Curtis. 

The letter of the Hon. Nathan Dane, referred to in 
Mr. Curtis's letter, here follows : — 

, Nathan Dane to Daniel Webster. 

Beverly, March 26th, 1830. 
Dear Sir, — I have received your second speech on the motion of 
Mr. Foot, respecting the public lands, for which I thank you. You 


recollect you ascribed to me the formation of the Ordinance of the Old 
Congress, of July 13th, 1787. Since writing you last, I have seen 
Mr. Benton's speech on the subject, in the National Intelligencer, 
of March 6th, 1830, in which, I find, on no authority, he ascribes its 
formation in substance to Mr. Jefferson ; that is, that Mr. Jefferson 
formed an ordinance in 1784, and he seems to infer from that the 
Ordinance of '87 was taken or copied. This inference of Benton's has 
not the least foundation, as thus appears : Mr. Jefferson's resolve, or 
plan (not ordinance), of April 23d, 1784, is contained in two pages and 
a half; is a mere incipient plan, in no manner matured for practice, 
as may be seen. The Ordinance of July, 1787, contains eight pages ; 
is in itself a complete system, and finished for practice ; . and, what is 
very material, there cannot be found in it more than twenty lines taken 
from Jefferson's plan, and these worded differently. In fact, his plan 
and this Ordinance are totally different, in size, in style, in form, and 
in principle. Probably not one person in a thousand knows or sus- 
pects this essential difference, of those who read, or are told, what 
Benton has said ; nor do I see it much noticed in the debates. Ought 
not this difference to be made known ? Mr. Benton's assertion, so 
groundless, extorts from me the above, and the following exposition, 
in defence of those who have long ascribed to me the formation. 

I observe Mr. Benton and Mr. Hayne both assert you failed in your 
proof of the part you ascribed to me. Does this part stand as you 
wish it to remain ? I remember you once asked me for some account 
of this Ordinance, and that I gave you an account in a few words, 
and referred to the 7th Vol. of my "Abridgment," chap. 223. If 
then I had, in the least, anticipated what has taken place, I should 
have given you a much fuller account. As, in the endless debate, you 
may have an opportunity, in a note or otherwise, to use further 
evidence, I will state a small portion. 

1. As I am the only member of Congress living who had any con- 
cern in forming or in passing this Ordinance, no living testimony is to 
be expected. 

2. In the North-American Review, of July, 1826, pa*es 1 to 41, 
is a review of my " General Abridgment," &c, of American Law. 
In page 40, it is said, I " was the framer of the celebrated Ordinance 
of Congress, of 1787." At present, it is enough to add this fact, stated 
in the Inaugural Discourse of Judge Story, page 58. Neither of these, 
it seems, Mr. Hayne has read ; and he could only find me in that aged 
(and really harmless) Convention, which so unnecessarily excited fear 
and alarm, as history will be able to show. 


Generally, when persons have asked me questions respecting the 
Ordinance, I have referred to the Ordinance itself, as evidently being 
the work of a Massachusetts lawyer on the face of it. I now make the 
same reference, and to its style, found in my "Abridgment," &c. 

3. When I mention the formation of this Ordinance, it is proper to 
explain. It consists of three parts. 1st, The titles to estates, real 
and personal, by deed, by will, and by descent; also personal, by 
delivery. These titles occupy the first part of the Ordinance, not a 
page, evidently selected from the laws of Massachusetts, except it 
omits the double share of the oldest son. These titles were made 
to take root in the first and early settlements, in 400,000 square 
miles. Such titles so taking root, we well know, are, in their nature, 
in* no small degree permanent ; so, vastly important. I believe these 
were the first titles to property, completely republican, in Federal 
America ; being in no part whatever feudal or monarchical. In my 
9th Vol. chap. 223 continued, titles, &c, in the several States, may 
be seen the dregs of feudality, continued to this day, in a majority 
of our States. 2d, It consists of the temporary parts that ceased with 
the territorial condition; which, in the age of a nation, soon pass 
away, and hence are not important. These parts occupy about four 
pages. They designate the officers, their qualifications, appointments, 
duties, oaths, &c, and a temporary legislature. Neither those parts, 
nor the titles, were in Jefferson's plan, as you will see. The 3d part, 
about three pages, consists of the six fundamental articles of compact, 
expressly made permanent, and to endure for ever; so, the most 
important and valuable part of the Ordinance. These, and the titles 
to estates, I have ever considered the parts of the Ordinance that give 
it its peculiar character and value ; and never the temporary parts, of 
short duration. Hence, whenever I have written or spoken of its 
formation, I have mainly referred to these titles and articles ; not to 
the temporary parts, in the forming of which, in part, in 1786, Mr. 
Pinckney, myself, and, I think, Smith, took a part. So little was done 
with the Report of 1786, that only a few lines of it were entered in 
the Journals. I think the files, if to be found, will show that Report 
was re-formed, and temporary parts added to it, by the Committee of 
'87 ; and that I then added the titles and six articles ; five of them 
before the Report of 1787 was printed, and the sixth article after, as 

4. As the slave article has ever principally attracted the public 
attention, I have, as you will see, ever been careful to give Mr. 


Jefferson and Mr. King their full credit in regard to it. I find in the 
Missouri contest, ten years ago, the slave-owners in Congress con- 
demned the six articles generally; and Mr. Pinckney, one of the 
Committee of 1786, added, they were an attempt to establish a 
compact, where none could exist, for want of proper parties. This 
objection, and also the one stating the Ordinance was an usurpation, 
led me to add pages 442, beginning remarks, to page 450, in which I 
labored much to prove it was no usurpation, and that the articles of 
compact were valid. They may be referred to, as in them may 
be seen the style of the Ordinance, though written thirty-four years 
after that was. Slave-owners will not claim as Mr. Pinckney's work 
what he condemned. Careful to give Mr. J. and Mr. K. full credit 
in pages 443, 446, Vol. 7th, I noticed Mr. Jefferson's plan of '84, 
and gave him credit. for his attempt to exclude slavery after the year 
1800. I may now add, he left it to take root about seventeen years ; 
so his exclusion was far short of the sixth article in the Ordinance. 
Page 446, I noticed the motion (Mr. King's) of March 16, 1785, and 
admitted it to be a motion to exclude slavery, as fully as in the sixth 
article. I now think I admitted too much. He moved to exclude 
slavery only from the States described in the Resolve of Congress, of 
April 23, 1784, Jefferson's Resolve, and to be added to it. It was 
very doubtful whether the word States, in that Resolve, included any 
more territory than the individual States ceded ; and whether the 
word States included preceding territorial condition. Some thought 
his motion meant only future exclusion, as did Mr. Jefferson's plan 
clearly : therefore, in forming the Ordinance of '87, all about States 
in his plan was excluded, as was 4 nearly all his plan, as inspection will 
prove, and that Ordinance made, in a few plain words, to include 
" the territory of the United States north-west of the river Ohio," — all 
made, for the purposes of temporary government, one district ; and the 
sixth article excludes slavery for ever from " the said territory." 
One part of my claim to the slave article I now, for the first time, 
state. In April, 1820 (Missouri contest), search was made for the 
original manuscript of the Ordinance of '87. Daniel Bent's answer 
was, " that no written draft could be found ; " but there was found, 
attached to the printed Ordinance, in my handwriting, the sixth article, 
as it now is, — that is, the slave article. So this article was made a 
part of the Ordinance solely by the care of him, who says Mr. Benton 
no more formed the Ordinance of '87 than he did. I have Bent's 
certificate, &c. 


5. In pages 389, 390, Sect. 3, Vol. 7th, I mention the Ordinance of 
'87 was framed, mainly, from the laws of Massachusetts. This appears 
on the face of it ; meaning the titles to estates, and nearly all the six 
articles, the permanent and important parts of it, and some other 
parts ; and, in order to take the credit of it to Massachusetts, I added, 
" this Ordinance (formed by the author, &c.) was framed," &c. I then 
had no idea it was ever claimed as the draft of any other person. Mr. 
Jefferson I never thought of. In the Missouri contest, Mr. Grayson 
was mentioned as the author ; but, as he never was on any committee 
in the case, nor wrote a word of it, the mention of him was deemed an 
idle affair. We say, and properly, Mr. Jefferson was the author of the 
Declaration of Independence (or formed it, as you observe) ; yet 
he no more than collected the important parts, and put them together. 
If any lawyer will critically examine the laws and constitutions of the 
several States, as they were in 1787, he will find the titles, six